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Showing posts from February, 2015

Highlights From Peru

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We are days away from moving out of Lima, back to the states. 
In honor of our time here in Peru, I've put together a little highlight reel.
Larcomar memories- (Larcomar is an outside mall right off the coast of Lima.)

Dresses designed out of recyclable materials!


The skate boarding bulldog!


For her 40th birthday, Camie went paragliding!

Christmas Day memories- (We spent the past two Christmases in Peru.)

Westfalia memories- (Westfalia is an orphanage in Lima.)


Family memories-


Favorite memories-



Marcus rode on a dune buggy and went sand-boarding!

Marissa spent a lot of fun time with the young women in our ward.
Lots of sweet memories to keep in our hearts forever.

When in Peru- How to drive!

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When in Peru, drive over the white line (not between the white lines). Lanes mean nothing. In fact, feel free to create your own lane just for fun.

When in Peru, wave your left hand wildly out your window to tell another driver “I’m coming over whether you like it or not!” Using your turn signal is purely optional, and most times, meaningless.

However, when in Peru, use your turn signal to let others know you are rounding a bend. This is especially fun on winding roads.

When in Peru, use your force-field! (Those are your emergency flashers.) This is how you use them: Turn them on whenever you want to feel invisible or powerful. I'm not kidding.

When in Peru, turn right from the left lane and left from the right lane. Anything goes.

When in Peru, slow down for speed bumps on all of the main roads (except for the highway). Speed bumps are the only speed control.

When in Peru, watch out for buses. They stop anywhere to let people on and off. Taxis are even worse.

When in Peru, take t…

Our Day at Machu Picchu

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Our morning started off with a two hour train ride. We boarded at the Ollantaytambo train station in the Sacred Valley. Our destination was the Aguas Calientes train station.


From Aguas Calientes, we boarded a bus which took us up the switch back roads to the entrance of Machu Picchu. It was a 20 minute bus ride. We had to show our passports along with our entrance tickets.


In July of 1911, North American, Hiram Bingham, who was an explorer and history professor, discovered the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. Peruvians do not like to credit Hiram Bingham with the discovery, but Hiram's expeditions brought Machu Picchu to the attention of the world.


Machu Picchu is believed to have been a city for Inca nobility. Out of the one hundred and seventy three skeleton remains of Incas found inside Machu Picchu (the rest of the Incas living and working in Machu Picchu would've been buried outside of Machu Picchu), one hundred and fifty of them were women. These women may have been t…

The Sacred Valley

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On the day we toured the Sacred Valley, we first stopped off at an animal rescue shelter called, Awanacancha.
Here we saw Andean camelids- the alpaca and the llama, as well as a few other animals, like parrots and ducks and the mighty condor.



We also saw this woman weaving on the ground.
Before driving down and into the Sacred Valley, we stopped at the scenic overlook.

The Sacred Valley is also known as The Urubamba Valley because the Urubamba River formed the valley.


We continued our way to the Sacred Valley, stopping in Pisac, where there is a huge marketplace.


We spent an hour browsing the colorful, artsy market, and of course we ended up buying a few souvenirs.


Darcie had brought along a bag of lollipops which she handed out to Peruvian children.





My favorite find was another big Andean doll for my collection. I can only find these beautiful handmade dolls in Cusco.


After the market, we continued to Ollantaytambo, one of the oldest villages in South America.


Here we toured a p…

Hobbit Foil Art

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Marcus and I have been reading, The Hobbit, together for a couple weeks now.



In history, Marcus has been studying a little about the Golden Age and how painters in that era would sometimes use gold leafing in their art. So we decided to make some Hobbit pictures using silver leafing (tin foil).

Marissa drew the scenes for us and we each took one, colored it in and added silver touches.


The spiders in the forest (artist- Marcus)
Smaug lying on the dwarf gold (artist-Marissa)

Smaug keeping watch over the dwarf gold (artist- Camie)

A Homeschool Day at the Madsen's- Peru Edition

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Ever wonder what a typical homeschooling day looks like at the Madsen home? As you know, we've been (mostly) living in Lima, Peru, since the summer of 2013. By we, I mean: David, myself, Marissa and Marcus. Darcie spent the first ten months here with us, and she and Zach spent this past Christmas here with us. That was amazing because we toured Machu Picchu together, our second time to do so as a family.
This was us at Machu Picchu in 2005
This was us at Machu Picchu in 2014
So, our mornings are very relaxed around here. David wakes up first to get ready for work, usually around 7am. I get up with him, make him a sandwich and see him off. After that, I take advantage of the peaceful atmosphere by curling up on a living room sofa with my Nook open to my scriptures, and a soothing cup of my favorite peach herbal tea.

Our current morning reads include Percy Jackson and Love Inspired romance novels.
Marissa and Marcus generally wake up between 8 and 9am. They are both morning reade…