Peruvian adventures

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Peruvian adventures

Back drops that look like they’ve been painted, long limbed cactuses adding a splash of green to the grey but stunning desert and lefts that leave you with leg burns and jelly arms by the time you’ve caught a wave and paddled back out the back. What a mystical, beautiful and interesting country.

My trip was short lived, only a quick 10 days but I think the only time we sat down was for meals and to sleep. With how much we got done and how many amazing new people we were lucky enough to meet, I felt as though we were there for at least a month.

Our first stop was to Huanchacho, Trujillo. It’s a beautiful small coastal town, with a long left hand point break, which was peaky and playful.

The first day we were there I ran a cooking class for a few mothers of the children from Milagros, a volunteer educational center created to give the kids the opportunity to learn English in a fun way and to give them a better chance in the future. A project which Choclo is supporting this year.

It was a huge challenge for me as the women did not speak any Enlgish and my Spanish vocabulary extends as far as Ohla (hello) and Amigos (friend… I think). Luckily I had a Spanish translator, but it was hard to know how much information was lost or gained within the translation.
My aim was basically to get them to incorporate more vegetables into their own and their beautiful children’s diet… I cooked vegetarian “hamburgers”, which was basically sweet potato and quinoa burgers coated in sesame seeds with a mango and avocado side salad and a lettuce leaf “bun”. I also wanted to create awareness as to how blessed and lucky they are to have such amazing super foods readily available to them in their country of which Australia, America and I’m sure other countries are having to import. So I made a chia pudding and boosted it with super foods including coconut and coconut water, yacon syrup and maca powder.

The mothers were really interactive with me, asking questions, tasting the food and having a laugh every now and again… although I had no idea what they were laughing about I persisted to smile and laugh as if I were completely in the know. I felt as though I gave them a sense of the possibility of cooking with fruit and vegetables and showed that it doesn’t have to be boring and unsatisfying. One mother made a comment that she “can’t even taste the vegetables” and “it smells like meat”… so I’m going to take them as subtle but definite compliments J.

Next on the agenda was my trip to visit the beautiful Jaime Wilfredo Munoz Diaz. If you have not yet heard of Jaime he is a 16 year old boy, living in Peru with cystic fibrosis. His Mum noticed he had breathing problems as a bub and took him to get checked. He was then diagnosed falsely with asthma and dust allergies and his condition continued to get worse with the medicine having no success in relieving his symptoms. In the end of 2012, after many painful tests and visits from the doctor he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a autosomal recessive genetic disorder that affects most critically the lungs but also the pancreas, liver and intestine. Difficulty breathing is the most serious symptom, which results from frequent lung infections being treated with antibiotics and other medications.
Jaime is a 16 year old in the body of a 7 year old. He is tiny, his organs are not as evolved as they should be and he is extremely thin and weak. He is now connected to an oxygen tank 24/7 of which is costing him 100 soles a day (about $50) and half of his heart has stopped working.

The Choclo Project have been supporting Jaime for a while now and I was told whilst visiting that if it wasn’t for their generous and continuous support, Jaime may not be alive today.

I was so excited to meet him and was blown away with his beautiful, cheeky, and loving energy. We both couldn’t speak one another’s language but he still managed to consistently make me smile. He is an extremely artistic and talented boy. Jaime showed me his art journal and I was blown away with the vibrance and creativity of each of his pieces. As he was such a talented perfectionist I was slightly intimidated but I did a couple of drawings with him and gave him some new journals and Posca pens to encourage his creative outlet. I left feeling really frustrated that such a beautiful, young and incredible boy can be so restricted in his way of living and can be suffering to an extent of which no one would understand. I please encourage anyone to follow this link http://www.gofundme.com/3xzxhc and donate any amount to help give Jaime a better and easier chance at life. And if anything… just a little more time to live his creative and talented dreams.

After visiting Jaime, we went just down the road to visit the school Milagros. Another part of the trip that completely blew my mind… such a simple yet effective and amazing system and set up. Run completely by volunteers… the school was created by the inspiring Coco Rim Amad (Jaime’s main supporter) who moved from Sweden, leaving behind her job as a lawyer and setting up this incredible school for all the local children after she was dissatisfied with what she had seen of the school systems when she first arrived in the area.

The school day started with meditation. We all sat down outside, instructed to put our hand over our eyes and listen to the music played to us. There was a lot of energy buzzing in the little ones but when asked what noises they heard in the music they all gave at least one answer and immediately seemed more focused and relaxed. What an incredible way to begin the school day… if only we had these sort of systems in our local schools. The beautiful kids then ran off to their allocated classes and it was then time for me to very reluctantly leave and catch my plane to the next part of my Peruvian adventure.

After our inspiring and eye opening time in Huanchacho, I left feeling so blessed and happy that I had the opportunity to meet the kids, Jaime, Coco, the other volunteers, share my knowledge on nutrition, surf some incredible waves and to have done a trip that wasn’t purely for my own experience but to give and enjoy something completely different.
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Re discovered photos.

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Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of posts. It’s been another crazy few months and I’ve been working on some changes for my blog/ website (more to come on that soon). I promise I’ll up the anti over the next few weeks particularly because I have some incredible recipes and tips to share with you all.

Since I’ve been back in the country for my off season, my camera has had no battery and I haven’t been able to upload some long lost photos from the Maldives… It wasn’t until today I figured I have a card slot in my computer so I decided I should share some of the photos I never had a chance to post. ImageImageImageImageImage
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YAMAS + NIYAMAS

Health, Inspiration, Travel, Yoga

One of my favorite parts of traveling so often is that you’re constantly coming across new things. New surroundings, new people, new information, new surf breaks, new scenery. I picked up a yoga magazine in Portugal and had a read to come across this little article that I quite liked, so I thought I’d share with you about my new found information on YAMAS + NIYAMAS. I think there is something written below that every one of us could work on or have a think about 🙂

YAMA

Ahimsa- Non-violence, compassion or kindness towards all living things (including yourself). ‘Do no harm’. Extends beyond physical violence to non-violence in thought, work and deed.

Satya Involves a commitment to the truth. At its heart is the intention to speak the truth in order to cultivate healthy relationships based on honest communication. Also refers to integrity and being true to yourself.

Asteya- Not stealing or taking that which has not been given freely. Not taking more than you need. Focus on feeling content with what you have. Enjoy a feeling of abundance.

Brahmacharya- Moderation and an aspiration to bring the sense under control in order to protect your vital energy. Moderate in activities that reduce the energy you have to focus on inner development.

Aparigraha- An absence of greed, not grasping or holding on.

NIYAMA

Saucha- Inner and outer cleanliness. Keeping both the physical body clean and maintaining a clean mind through purity of thought and speech.

Santosha-Ability to cultivate contentment in the present moment and to let go of the need to find satisfaction in external things.

Tapas-The fire in your belly that motivates you, gives you enthusiasm and fuels discipline.

Svadhyaya-Self study. Inner reflection in order to understand yourself fully, including your strengths and weaknesses. It can also mean the study of texts that help develop awareness and encourage spiritual development.

Ishvarapranidhana-Dedication and surrender of the fruits of your efforts to something outside of yourself.

PERU

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Were on the road again… first stop Peru for the Movistar Pro, WQS. It’s a beautiful place, really different to anywhere I’ve been before. Desert surround us. Colorless mountains that look different every time you drive past them and never fail to get us all out of the car to take photos, even though we’ve seen it time and time again. The local form of transport is tuk tuk’s and the food is delicious. Our favorites so far have been the Mexican down the alley from our hotel and a little white restaurant covered in pink and white flowers that I ate probably the best textured and flavored tuna I’ve ever had. Were staying in Mancora which is around an hour drive from the contest site at Lobitos. I’m a natural footer but I adore my back hand and Peru seems to be the land of the lefts so I’m feeling excited to surf some heats in such a long and fun left hander. From here we head to Mexico and then to California, so plenty more adventures to look forward to. But for now, here are a couple of our photos from the first few days here in Peru, there are only four because the internet where we are staying is really slow and won’t upload all of my photos!ImageImageImageImage

Francais

Amazing Places, Contests, Family, Fish out of the water, Photography, Surfing, Travel

So I’m here in France. I adore France… from the language to the pastries and macaroons to the beautiful architecture. As I’ve told my Mum several times the past few days, I can definitely see myself moving here one day. I’m here for a surf competition (Swatch Girls Pro) It’s a combination of a WQS and a pro junior. We’re staying in Hossegor, but had a quick night in Paris. It was my first time to the city of love, and woah I absolutely LOVED it. I always wondered what was with the fuss over Paris, but it truly is an incredibly beautiful and charming city. Thought I’d post a few photos of our quick stop over as well as a couple from the beach yesterday. The water is icy, but the weather is beautiful.
Au revoir!
Several airports, trying to kill some time
Couldn’t ask for a more loving, kind or beautiful mother. She is the BEST of them all ❤
Love you
I love my job

Flashback to Fiji

Amazing Places, Surfing, Travel, Tropical

A flashback to 2 years ago, where I was struggling my way through year 12 but was also lucky enough to get taken to a beautiful island in Fiji, Tavarua. I expected an amazing trip, but what we got was beyond anything I could have imagined. This place was totally surreal. So I thought I’d share the amazing photos from back in 2010. Prepare for bliss.

No place like home

A bit of fun!, Fish out of the water, Friendship, No place like home, Travel

Since moving to Lennox for my training, I’ve been through the highs and the lows of living alone, away from my closest and dearest. I’ve definitely adjusted a lot better than I expected but I think I’ll certainly always be a ‘home is where my heart is’ type of girl. I can’t help but run back to my favorite place in the world here and there. It may be cold, and the waves mightn’t be quite as good, but there really is no place like home.
Clockwise from bottom left: Delightful day for a flight, the simple pleasures of life right in our backyards, my favorite girl in the world, back to my roots.Clockwise from top left: Brunch at Olli&Ari (15th year of friendship with this lovely lady), reunited with Richie at the airport for an hour (not long enough (new Piping Hot winter range keeping me warm at Melbourne airport)), late night flights looking over the city, friends= instant smile+a tongue outClockwise from top left: My pups love me unconditionally (Jed, soul searching),  little Harry taking control of the farm, sleepy little cuties, my beautiful sis busy busy doing her heartfelt charity work (don’t know a soul better than this one).

Timor

Inspiration, Surfing, Travel

As we have a couple of months break before the international leg of the WQS begins… I’ve had lots of time to reminisce and reflect on the incredible travel I did last year. I was going through my photos and came across the album from my favorite trip to Timor… the photos are way too beautiful not to share. I’m incredibly blessed to have such amazing support behind me in what I’ve chosen to commit to over (hopefully) the next few years. The places I’ve already traveled to and the incredible things I’ve seen at such a young age is totally inspiring and unforgettable to me and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.

My family and I traveled on an incredible boat with great friends and the luxury surf trip providers Tropic Surf (if you want a holiday of a lifetime these are your people, trust me). We got to surf the most perfect waves I’ve ever seen with not a soul out, surrounded by the best scenery I’ve ever witnessed. Some sessions I’d just sit there smiling in disbelief… I didn’t realize such beauty existed in the world. Besides the exquisite landscape and the pumping, un-crowded waves, we got to spend a bit of time on the land in between surfs. We visited a village with one of the most un-developed environments and simple lifestyles I’ve come across in my travels. The people who lived there brought goose bumps to my skin. With not a word of English, they welcomed us, a group of strange, white faces into their beautiful village and gave us true and kind smiles while letting us explore and try to gain a sense of their every day life. My sister and I began playing soccer with a few of the kids and their piece of foam soccer ball. Before we knew it we had just about every single child that lived on that island playing with us. We taught them how to play duck duck goose and tiggy and they showed us how to make fun with a piece of old tyre and a stick. We cuddled the little ones, and laughed with the older ones… still without a word of English. I can say to this day, about a year later that, that was probably one of the best days so far in my 18 years of living. They barely have an item to their names, yet they were happier than almost anyone I know. These kids inspired me, and gave me something really special that day, I don’t know what it was about them, but they really just grabbed my heart. Al and I almost didn’t leave. Enjoy the photos.