Archive for May, 2006

Yeah, but avocadoes are 50 cents a pound

In : El Peru, General, Posted by on May.05, 2006

So cheddar cheese is hard to come by in Peru. As a rule, Peruvians don’t eat much of it, so it is rarely in stores. Over the last few years there have been only a few reliable sources:

  • San-Cor: this local industrial dairy’s product is yellow-orange and sold in cellophane. At that point, the resemblance to cheddar ends abruptly. It is best described as “wax-like” in consistency, flavor, and–I have to assume–composition.

  • Down Under: can’t tell you why, but local grocery stores were shipping Tasmanian and Kiwi cheddar in by the boat-load.
  • US Embassy: Land-o-Lakes XTra Bland n’ Mild cheddar blocks. They’re on sale in the commissary, right next to the clip-on toilet centerfuge to make the water spin the right way when you flush [insert chorus to “God Bless America”].

Unfortunately, these sources have been drying up recently. No boats from Oz or the US, and San-Cor–well, okay, there’s plenty of San-Cor in the stores, and that’s where it’s going to stay.

So at last, enter Gilles Dairy. They’re a Peruvian dairy that puts out an excellent mozarella, and last week I saw a block of cheddar with their name on it. Worth a try. The verdict is in, and Gilles Cheddar is a perfectly good, if a bit mild, cheddar cheese. Problem solved!

Until today, that is, when I took a slightly closer look at the package. Turns out, for a 12 oz. block of cheddar, I paid–taking into account the metric conversion and exchange rate from Soles–about FIFTEEN DOLLARS!

Yup. $20/lb. for cheddar. Beat that Rice Epicurean Market.

So, it’s back to San-Cor, I guess. Or we might try to save some cash and just grate a candle onto our tacos.

A little news from all the Welbi

In : El Peru, General, Kiddo, Picture Pages, Video, Posted by on May.05, 2006

I have decided that I have so much to say that I am going divide it into family members, starting with the youngest and ending with the oldest.


We had our big 4D ultrasound on Thursday. We walked into the room and there was a 45″ flat panel television on the wall where Todd (who was seated on a comfy black leather couch) and I could see everything.

  • All internal organs working and developed – check
  • Brain developing – check
  • Femur size, abdomen size, and head size equal age – check
  • Still a girl – check
  • My cervix long and completely closed – check
  • Blood flow moving and at a good speed – check
  • Spine formed and all within body – check
  • No cleft lip – check
  • 10 fingers and 10 toes – check
  • Looks just like Riley – check

Todd and I now relax and wait 16 more weeks for her arrival. For pics from this ultrasound go here.


Riley is walking now more than ever. She can get to a standing position without holding onto anything and then walk. She still prefers to crawl, but she is feeling more and more confident every day.

She loves to watch photos of herself in the morning. We know this because she screams “bebe” until she appears on the screen. Occasionally we play, “Footprints”, a game with Elmo from Elmo is watching footprints on the beach and then you have to click the footprint that is the same on the beach. When you get it right, Elmo yells, “Wow”! and then the animal walks across the screen. The round ends when the wave washes the footprints away and a new set appears. Here is some video of her playing the game. She laughs. She practices her sign language. She says “bebe” once, but I talked over it. She points. She clicks the left mouse button.

Of course, there are more photos.


Tomorrow is a big day for the Welbes family. It’s Todd and I’s 7th wedding anniversary. But more importantly, I have three international visitors in town to inspect my work from the last two years. If they like what they see and hear, then FDR will become an authorized MYP (Middle Years Programme) school. If they don’t, then I don’t know what will happen. They are here for two days, but we won’t know a final answer until probably the end of June. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me. This is the last big thing I am doing for the school. They have already appointed someone to take my place. We are job sharing next year, but as I will be on maternity leave for most of it, then I am really just helping and not running the program anymore.


Todd has a play going up on the 7th, 8th, and 9th of June, The Dispute. It is a bilingual production with three directors and 10 cast members, which is probably the best ratio he has worked with so far. Todd decided that he wanted to write a post all of his own, so I will let him tell HIS interesting story from the week. We all know it’s going to be hilarious.

Happy Mother’s Day Video

In : General, Kiddo, Video, Posted by on May.05, 2006

It’s sort of a re-run, but I’ve needed to put this video together and post it for a while now. It’s from December, so think of it as Christmas and Mother’s Day rolled into one.

Mother’s Day and Sick Week

In : General, Kiddo, Picture Pages, Posted by on May.05, 2006

I have been sick since Tuesday. Riley got sick on Thursday. Todd started his sickness today. Our original Mother’s Day plans of heading out Saturday night were scraped. So on Sunday when we were all feeling better (good enough to leave den of sickness) we headed to our favorite restaurant, Pescados Capitales. Then we went and had coffee, milk, and cake at a local cafe with our friend, Julie Lemley. My big present from Todd and Riley was a gift certificate for a spa day to be used whenever I want.

Over the course of Riley’s sickness she has been really cute. So here are the photos during her cold and from today.

Promise Kept – for the time being

In : General, Kiddo, Picture Pages, Posted by on May.05, 2006

Look two posts in as many days. Also more pics of Riley.

Today I was putting on my mascara while getting ready to go to work and I had this great idea about what to write about in a blog entry. Then I thought “Well I sure hope that I remember this for tonight.” As I am sure you can imagine – it’s gone.

So as I was downloading Riley’s latest photo ops, I came up with two topics – why the photos have been so slow in coming and shoes.

Photos – Riley is obsessed with the camera. She won’t do anything except look at it and point and scream “bebe.” I have to take pictures of her while she doesn’t know it is happening. Todd and I will try to be more sneakier in the future to feed the worldwide obsession with her.
Now onto a more interesting topic – shoes. I am obsessed with shoes. There is always DSW at home to satiate my cravings and here in Peru there is a shoe store that custom makes your shoe – style, color, heel – etc. They also make bags and belts to match. I am now waiting for my burgundy leather mary janes to be finished on the 12th. Then I will return and get some teal slides done in faux alligator – because who can live without teal shoes – oohh maybe a matching bag!!

Ok on to the point. I have passed this obsession onto Riley – Success #1. She has so many shoes it is unbelievable. 15 pairs at this point, and can wear 4 right now. I bought so many shoes early because it is impossible to find toddler shoes here. Recently I noticed that all she had were “dress shoes” in her current size (4) and I wanted to get her some running shoes. Gloria and I went to every store that sold kid clothes or shoes in our “Mall” and we found one pair in her size. These are of course the shoes in the photos that I just posted. They ARE high top Converse all stars in a pastel bubble pattern. When you ask Riley where are her stars – she points to the Converse logo. Of course if I am really desperate for new Riley shoes I can always go to Robeez. They ship directly to Peru for $15 shipping and handling. She already has the ladybugs and the cross trainers in pink for 6-12 months. I think it might be time for some 12-18 month patterns. But I guess you are wondering how this makes HER obsessed with shoes and not just an extension of my shoe issues. She loves to play with her shoes. Velcro is endlessly fascinating to her. She plays with her shoes – arranging them, throwing them, and banging them together. Soon I am hoping this play relationship will turn into a shopping one.

Our good friends, the Duffields, had their baby this morning. Of course of bunch of bet on the due date. I have to figure out the winner!

Since I am trying to do this blogging thing much more often and I am not the funny one in the family, let me know if there are any topics concerning Riley, Todd or I, or living overseas you would like to know more about.

TGIF – but don’t go there in Lima – the service is unbelievably slow and the food is not as good as Chili’s (but I am not sure what that says).

We promise…

In : El Peru, General, Kiddo, Picture Pages, Posted by on May.05, 2006

I am really going to use this as a blog. My goal is to post AND update pictures once a week. There are new photos of Riley in the Kid Album – I mean “The Kids” album. There is also the first photo of Tess Olivia, who will be making her debut appreance sometime in mid September.

I do feel slightly guilty that in 2.5 months we have only taken 15 pictures of Riley. Oh well. The photos up are cute and that’s all that matters.

News from the Welbes household:

– Riley can walk. We have seen it. However, 99% of time she prefers to crawl. Only under duress from her parents, will she walk “sola” between us and then fall into us with a hug.

– I am down with the flu / virus. Something poopy. Doc says that I can take Panadol (Peruvian version of Tylenol) and I hope to be back at work tomorrow.

I think that is about it. No wonder I don’t update the site very often. Not much of interest. Much of my spare time is spent planning our big “Return to the States” trip of 2006-2007. We will be going to Banff for a family reunion at Christmas, then to Houston for about a month, and then job hunting. Job hunting is never fun, but with two kids and at least two moms in tow, things should be circus like. I am leaning towards Asia because of the culture, money and child care. But Todd drools daily over Eastern Europe. I cannot say that I am against Eastern Europe. My only concern is that if we go now, I assume we will love it so much we will never leave. We can speculate all we want, but we won’t have a clue until after the job fairs in early February 2007.

Things in Peru are good – the weather, the food, and the people, but there is a buzz in the air, and not an especially good buzz because of the Peruvian elections looming ahead. If you haven’t kept up with Peruvian politics – on June 4th Peru will elect a former president who left the country bankrupt and brought enormous inflation and shortages or a left wing socialist leader who is friends with Chavez (of Venezuela fame). Todd and I are pretty apolitical here, but we spend much time speculating what will change under either regime.

Six more weeks until four weeks of vacation, then 6 weeks of school, then maternity leave, then 2.5 months of vacation, then four months of work, then new locale. That is our timeline at present.

We would love to hear from everyone else.

Enjoy the photos.