Author: Danielle Krautmann

Returning Home

Some of the kids that live on my street during one of our English lessons. By Danielle L. Krautmann Home is where your heart is. It seems simple enough, doesn’t it? There’s no place like home.  But when you live a nomadic lifestyle, traveling to a new place every year or two, it can be hard to have a sense of what, where or which is home. I recently went back to the States for three months to spend time with my mom at the end of her life, and with my family after she passed.  Despite this being a very difficult time for obvious reasons, I found it additionally painful to leave behind my ‘home’ in Peru and temporarily move back into my parent’s house.  My handsome husband, chicken-eating dog and dream house were all back in Cajamarca and I was in Concord, NH feeling grief-stricken AND homesick.   This didn’t make sense.  I was with my family, in the house I grew up in and always go back to.  But as mom’s cancer advanced into her brain and ultimately ended her life, I realized that for the past few years everything I had considered home, the place where I felt anchored, had been defined by my mom. My father, siblings, extended family and my sense of self all seemed to be a direct result of my mom....

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To Be A Gringa: Part Two

(continued from: To Be a Gringa: Part One) The Ex-Pat Community of Cajamarca, Peru   Amy and her husband Eric arrived to Cajamarca on a sunny Thursday morning.  A driver picked them up from the airport and drove them and their two dogs to their furnished home.  After a quick nap, they went and met with a human resources representative from Eric’s company.  Here they were given information about Cajamarca, and oriented to their phone, internet, and cable plans (which had been set up for them prior to their arrival).  When they got back home they ate some of the food that their home had come furnished with.  Over the next few days, while Eric settled into his work schedule, Amy was bombarded with invitations from other ex-pats.  They offered to show her around town, take her grocery shopping, and help her find a maid.  They were eager for her to get settled so they could begin to invite her to play tennis, join them for tea or cocktails, weekly card games and various other social events.   Through the ex-pat network, Amy soon met Katie, one of the other young wives, who had arrived four months prior.  Although Amy was from the United States, and Katie was from New Zealand, the two twenty-somethings found they had a lot in common.  Both formerly full-time working women who left their...

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To Be a Gringa: Part One

By Danielle L. Krautmann A local celebrity How did  it get to be this late?  I’m lying on Violeta’s bed in her one-room home in Baños del Inca.  Actually, it’s not just her bed, she shares this queen-sized mattress which sits on cinder blocks with her husband and 11-year-old daughter, Alejandra.  It’s four o’clock in the afternoon; I had planned to be home hours ago. When I agreed to go to church with Violeta, I assumed it would be your typical hour-long service…not three hours.  When I said I’d come for lunch afterwards, I thought we would slam down...

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Thoughts on One Year in Peru

By Danielle L. Krautmann “Six months ago, I was living in Seattle with roommates, working as an occupational therapist for a home health company. Now, I am a housewife in Lima, Peru.” Can you believe that in January I celebrated my one-year anniversary of living in Peru?  This country and I have had a turbulent relationship with many ups and downs.  I personify Peru and can’t count how many times I’ve found myself directly cursing it for its defects…and sometimes for my own.  I once forgot the keys to my apartment in a taxi and screamed “I hate you, Peru!” as the taxi quickly drove away. Peru has long lines, every task is far more complicated than it needs to be, and the men can be terribly rude.  But I think, just maybe, the best relationships happen when you can love someone (or a country) deep enough to see past their faults.  I know I love Peru because when I reflect on my past year, its hard to remember what was difficult.  All I can think about is what I’ve gained. Alone but not lonely “All Alone. Whether you like it or not. Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.” ~Dr. Suess Upon arriving on January 4th, to my new apartment in Lima, Peru I had two hours with my husband before he left for four days...

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Death in the Chicken Coop

By Danielle L. Krautmann The problem began when I was living in Denver, CO and a squirrel got caught in my window well.  Brandy watched patiently as I spent three hours using different methods (a bucket, a broom, an umbrella, a shovel) to try to set the frightened creature free.  My final attempt was with a towel, which the squirrel was happy to burrow in when I dropped it into the well.  I quickly pulled the towel out (squirrel inside) and opened it on the grass, allowing the squirrel to run free.   To my surprise, in less than a second, before he could even get his bearings, Brandy had pounced, captured and shaken my poor friend to his death.  “Noooooooo!” I screamed with defeat.  A morning was wasted and I had just seen a side of my dog I never wanted to encounter again. In Las Cruces, NM, there was an abundance of adorable cotton-tailed rabbits.  When I first moved in and began to explore the area around my apartment, I noticed Brandy’s interest in the cute little creatures.  She would try to chase them, but I figured there was no way a large clumsy dog barreling through the grass could catch a speedy rabbit.  Over time she learned to approach slowly while they were eating and wait for them to startle before chasing them. One day I let...

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The GoMad Nomad Travel Mag is an online magazine for independent travelers publishing original travel articles on popular and off-the-beaten-track destinations, volunteering and working opportunities abroad, and practical travel advice on long-term, adventure, alternative, and budget travel.

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