Author: Danielle Krautmann

The Jungle Gig

By Danielle L. Krautmann About a month ago I was bored in my apartment for 10 minutes.  Charlie was at the mine, it was eight o’clock at night and none of my movies looked enticing.  I hate the mention of the words bored, boredom, boring and agree with Harvey Danger when he sings “if you’re bored than you’re boring.”  That’s the last thing I want to be.  So I baked a pie, cleaned the house and sat down at my computer.  I tried to write, but nothing came so I began searching the internet for inspiration.  In the process I found a very general classified add in the “journalism” section of an ex-pat site. Looking for someone to travel to Puerto Maldonardo for 3 to 5 months for writing/social networking.  Length of of time somewhat negotiable. Knowing nothing of the position, or about social networking, or whether I could commit to three months in southern Peru, I replied via email with my resume and a link to my blog assuming that would be the end of it.  I moved on to bigger and better things and by the time my pie had cooled and I had completed the first half of my instructional DVD on belly dancing, I had forgotten about my informal application.  A few days later I received an email asking about my availability and possibly meeting....

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Feeling at home in Peru, Finally

By Danielle L. Krautmann The other day I was taking a taxi back from work.  I negotiated the fare to be eight soles, a fair price to go from San Borja to my apartment in San Isidro.  I told the taxi driver to please not take the street Javier Prado explaining “la trafica es mierda ahora,” and asked him to take a different route.  He ignored my request and landed us in stand still traffic on Javier Prado.  He told me if I wanted to continue, I would need to pay 12 soles.  Assessing the situation to be non-threatening, I explained to him that he had two options.  I could get out of the taxi and pay him nothing, or he could take me to my apartment for the price we agreed upon.  I said I had told him not to take Javier Prado and he took it anyway, that was his problem, not mine.  He mumbled a couple swears and agreed to take me for eight soles.  I won an argument in Spanish!  Yes! Something has changed over the past two months.  I first became aware of it when I started having difficulty coming up with blog topics.  At first, everything felt so new and different that I had a long list of topics I wanted to cover.  Then, I was so frustrated with the differences that I...

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Lima 42 K

By Danielle L. Krautmann I can’t take my medal off. It’s bronze colored with a plain navy blue ribbon to hold it on my neck. It’s the cheapest, worst quality completion medal I’ve ever received from a race, and I love it. This one says Lima 42K, 2010 on it…my first marathon. After the race I took a nap and woke up with the ribbon strangling me. I adjusted it rather than taking it off. I wonder how long I can get away with wearing this around the house. Although I’ve done plenty of half marathons over the past five years, I was hesitant to commit to training for a full marathon. For me, running is something I do to keep fit and clear my head. If it’s a nice day, or I have excess energy, I like to go for a run. If I’m on a run and feel tired, I prefer to turn around and go home. If I’m feeling good, I’ll go further. When I need to “train” for a race, running quickly looses its appeal. Something about adding discipline to the sport makes it feel like more of a job than a pastime. My first month here I joined a running group through Charlie’s work to meet people and make friends with similar interests. The friend-making mission was soon accomplished, but I kept showing up...

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Why I love Cajamarca

A Photo Essay of Cajamarca, Peru By Danielle Krautmann Charlie and I just got back from a long weekend in Cajamarca, where we celebrated my husband’s 30th birthday. Cajamarca is the city nearest to Cerro Corona, the mine where Charlie works, which is about a tw0-hour drive from the city.  Although Charlie knew he liked Cajamarca, he had never spent much time in the actual town as he’s usually only there for an hour or two between arriving at the airport and going to the mine.  I met Charlie there on a Thursday, and from the moment my plane landed in the middle of the cow field, I fell in love with the place.  Being surrounded by trees, mountains, and green farmlands was just the start of it.  One of my favorite things was being able to walk around without hearing the whistles, kissing noises, and disrespectful comments from Los Hombres.  It is far safer than Lima. Cajamarca does not attract many international tourists.  One day while we were walking around in town, Charlie started laughing, when I asked him why he pointed out a group of women who were staring at me like I was an alien from outer space.  The lack of tourism may be one of the reasons there are less “predators” looking for gringos to take advantage of…there’s just not a market for this type of...

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Transportation in Lima

The Wheels of the Combi Go Round and Round By Danielle L. Krautmann Currently Lima, Peru has no public transportation.  This restricts Limenians to use either taxis, buses, cars, or “combies”.  Charlie and I don’t plan to get a car while we’re here because it’s easy enough for us to get from one place to another.  Plus, with the plan to stay for two or three years, it hardly seems worth it. Every person you meet has either had a bad experience with a taxi or knows someone else who has. A Peruvian friend of mine took a taxi to get from one fairly safe neighborhood to another.  When he noticed the taxi wasn’t going in the right direction, he said something to the driver.  Sooner than he could stop them, three men approached the taxi, and the next thing he remembers is waking up in a bad part of town on the side of the road.  His money and cell phone had been stolen.  A guy Charlie works with got robbed at knife point in a taxi.  One time Charlie and I were taking a taxi and the driver fell asleep…while driving. In most of my experiences, except for the frequent opportunist or pervert, the drivers are more or less harmless.  They either charge exorbitant rates to tourists and gringos who don’t know any better, or hit on...

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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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