Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Dream

We all have dreams of what we want for our lives and most often those dreams are postponed. When the opportunity comes for us to work toward that goal we are often driven by what we believe the end result will be, the money, the recognition, or whatever we believe that our lives will look like when we finally reach our goals.

We are often frustrated by the road that takes us to this anticipated end.  Most often, that end result is different from what we anticipated. What we forget to do is to enjoy the journey of getting to the well anticipated end.The journey is where we learn and grow and cross many hurdles, which are small successes. Many times we see these small successes as merely stepping stones, but we need to celebrate them just the same. I want to be photojournalist and blogging is how I decided to begin the learning process, along with taking pictures of course. I know that photojournalism is merely telling stories through photos. Sometimes it is just photos and other times it is photos with words, but it is always telling a story.  I have always loved meeting people from all walks of life and I love hearing their stories.  I love celebrating their lives, the successes and the failures, the challenges and the triumphs, it is all what makes us who we are. Even though I would love to be recognized for my work, wanting others to see and feel what I do.  I want people to respond, to have a reaction of any sort. I have been intentionally living my life and enjoying every step of this journey.
 Even the three years where I was recovering from several surgeries and all I could do was plan and research, as well as search within finding my strengths and weaknesses and asking what path am I to take.  I had to get the other voices out of my head (parents, society, church, etc) in order to hear His and I had to be Still.  Those three years I was Still and I had a deep desire to live a more meaningful life.  I ask Him everyday to guide my feet, my heart and my tongue. This is where I am being lead too, this life, and I am so at peace with it.

Me in Cusco, Peru

 I have wanted to explore other cultures for as long as I can remember.

It actually all started with this picture book my mom bought me on Thailand.  No I have yet to gotten to Thailand, but I have always wanted to go, and I will get there I have also have had this love affair with every thing Latin.

  Moving to Los Angeles gave me that extra courage I needed to make things happen and not just talk about it.  I saw people there who were very  happy not living the status quo. I saw people make a living walking dogs. Yes, some are making over 50k per year doing just that.  Now that I am in Peru, I see people making a living doing everything. I don't see a great deal of industry jobs here like in the states. These people learn skills and market themselves.  There are hundreds of small restaurants, hundreds and hundred of shops for clothes, shoes, food, everything.  These people are entrepreneurs, they are smart, and they are skilled.    

Tell me about your journey or the journey you dream about?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Language Barrier

It was never my intention to move to Peru, but here I am, My intentions were to come and stay for the 183 days they allowed me and move on to some place else.  I had spent the previous two years building a travel business that I could run from my computer in order for me to be able to work from anywhere that has internet access.  This way I can travel and see the world and pass on this first hand information to my clients, I then fell in love with the beauty of Cusco, the art, the food, and the simplicity of life. Almost two years later, I am still here n Peru.

Visiting and knowing minimal Spanish is fine, but not when you are trying to conduct business.  Business, like looking for an apartment, negotiating the price, and setting up utilities is quite difficult. Even though I had met a couple of people that could help me with these things, they were never available when I needed them and I was on a time constraint as my daughter and granddaughter were arriving in December and I needed to have a place large enough for everyone.  So I ended up going to one of the hotels and asking for anyone that spoke English wanting to hire them as an interpreter.  I did find this young lady whose mom was Peruvian and she decided to move here after living in Europe with her parents.  She agreed to help me and we set up a time to meet.

At our first meeting I bought her breakfast as she read through the classified and made several calls from my cell phone.  When my phone rang and it was a friend that lived in Urubamba, we discovered that she too knew my friend, and decided to help me for free.

Whenever we would meet she only had a couple of hours to help me and then she started to push me toward a property that I was not sure about even though I liked it very much. When it came to talking and making plans with the property owner, they talked a great deal more than was being translated to me, and that made me uncomfortable.  It ended up being to my detriment as I was not made aware of all that was in my contract by my new friend, my interpreter.  It is a good thing the laws in Peru makes it hard to evict someone, because this made the property owner more willing to negotiate my moving out of her property, even with the harassment of her mother in law and the threatening emails from her husband, I was able to move away not having to worry about being taken advantage of.  Understand that they do work together here and against you the foreigner.  You can't trust the attorneys either, because the one that I had look over the contract,  called the property owner behind my back.  He says that he wanted to get the whole story, and all they do is lie when they are trying to  stick it to you, and when they are caught with that, they say it was a misunderstanding. Even though this attorney advocate that he works with a great deal of Americans, once he talked to my landlord, he no longer wanted to give me any advice.

So I do advise when doing business here, know the language, because the prices are always more for the Foreigner, the markets, the taxis, the apartments, etc. You are a Target for Financial Gain, even if that means theft. The laws are different and just being a foreigner can get you deported if you violate any of the laws. It is not often but always possible.          

Once you know the language the job market opens up for you. You can do something other than teach English and work in a call center.  If you have western education from a university, you can get the better teaching jobs, like with a masters you can automatically teach at the universities and some will accept you with a bachelors.  It all depends on the need.  In Lima that opportunity increases exponentially and so does the income.            

Monday, October 20, 2014

EEEEEERIE WASI

Illa Wasi

This is a rather beautifully developed property,but all that has lived there, has had bad experiences for one reason or another.  One person lived their for a couple of years before the other houses were built and she says that she had bad luck the entire time she was there and that the owner was just not an honest man. He was one that said what was necessary to get what he wanted.  Unfortunately that is the norm in this area.

Everyone wants to take advantage of the Gringo.  

Then there was this couple. The woman was an artist but suffered from terrible depression.  Her situation seemed to be worst since she moved to this property, to the point where she didn't trust herself.  She did however trust a young New Yorker like I did. I later discovered this New  Yorker  would not know the truth if it slapped her in the face. This became more and more evident the longer I was there.  She drew people in like a magnet, and the men were defenseless.  Personally I think she was a witch.  A month after she returned to the property, after being gone for about four months,the owner of the property got sick suddenly and died. He was also very taken by this young New Yorker.  

 I understand she is now looking for another property to Haunt.


The Egg



Yes these are eggs that are just stacked up in a room to be sold.  These are from free range chickens because the egg yolks are a beautiful deep orange color. I understand that chickens that are free to range are healthier than those that are feed only corn, which gives the yoke that light yellow color. This is the color that I believed egg yolks to be because when I purchase from the grocery store that is the color of the egg yolk.  Now I know so much more.  


The eggs that are stacked here are not pasteurized eggs, that is probably why they are able to be stored this way.These eggs can be stored this way for a few months without chances of contamination.  Once you wash the outside of the egg, it breaks a membrane that is protecting the egg from contamination.
Salmonella contamination doesn't come from how the eggs are stored, it comes from first from the way the laying hens are cared for, and we all know how many of these animals are cared for in the USA.

A health issue associated with eggs is contamination by pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella enteritidis. Contamination of eggs exiting a female bird via the cloaca may also occur with other members of theSalmonella genus, so care must be taken to prevent the egg shell from becoming contaminated with fecal matter. In commercial practice in the US, eggs are quickly washed with a sanitizing solution within minutes of being laid. The risk of infection from raw or undercooked eggs is dependent in part upon the sanitary conditions under which the hens are kept.

Health experts advise people to refrigerate washed eggs, use them within two weeks, cook them thoroughly, and never consume raw eggs.[38] As with meat, containers and surfaces that have been used to process raw eggs should not come in contact with ready-to-eat food.

A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2002 (Risk Analysis April 2002 22(2):203-18) suggests the problem is not as prevalent as once thought. It showed that of the 69 billion eggs produced annually, only 2.3 million are contaminated with Salmonella—equivalent to just one in every 30,000 eggs—thus showing Salmonella infection is quite rarely induced by eggs. However, this has not been the case in other countries, where Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium infections due to egg consumptions are major concerns.[56][57][58] Egg shells act as hermetic seals that guard against bacteria entering, but this seal can be broken through improper handling or if laid by unhealthy chickens. Most forms of contamination enter through such weaknesses in the shell. In the UK, the British Egg Industry Council award the lions stamp to eggs that, among other things, come from hens that have been vaccinated against Salmonella.[

Now that I understand this, I understand why these eggs are stored the way they are here, and why they were stored in a similar way, on the kitchen counter, in the country when I was growing up.  In the country they raised their own hens and gathered their own eggs everyday.

The Baratillo


El Baratillo

If you are looking for a place where you will find many locals and those looking for a bargain, El Baratillo is the place.


This is the equivalent of the North American Flea Markets.  It is huge and happens every Saturday in Cuzco, Peru, in the Santiago barrio.  As you look down the path of all of the blue tents, there are many side streets that takes on the same look to add to this rather large meeting place.  Here you will find anything from used clothes, toys, books, tools, antiques, handmade items, and many food vendors. This is an easy walk from San Pedro Market.

Also in this area, there are many narrow streets of stores selling used clothes, sewing and knitting machines, furniture, and much much more.  Yes I was addicted for sure, especially when I was able to find jeans and pj's for my granddaughter for little of nothing.
Be careful when I are navigating through all of these stalls, as there are many who will snatch your bag and pick your pockets. So you will see many people hugging their backpacks in the front instead of on their backs.  So do not put your money or passports in your packs, have that on your person with some in your pocket for easy access.  Use your backpack for the things you purchase.  Enjoy this open market and most of all enjoy all of the typical foods.

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's Already A Year


On their way to Peru



It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since I landed in Peru.   My daughter and granddaughter joined me only a couple of months later. It has been great to share this experience with them and to see my granddaughter learn two languages at once.





The room I had ready for her when she arrived.
Here room was the only room in the house finished. Our bedrooms only had beds, and there was no living room or dinning room furniture when they arrived.  
Gia's room was complete. 

She loved it too.



Hanging around the plaza in December



A month later, Whitney started teaching at ICPNAC.  Everything is closed here the last two weeks in December. 

Then I started teaching at Austral University as well as ICPNAC.



 Gia started daycare in Cuzco, Peru. She had been going to daycare in Savannah, but now she will be with children that only speak Spanish and she will have to learn the language.


She is off to get in her car, but she didn't know that she would be walking.
It is time to go.
 Now that was a task, because she wanted to be carried.  The school was only a block around the corner.  After weeks of fighting, she got use to it.  

She would also fight you to carry her  backpack.  What a big girl.
Gotta get my car.

Whitney's adjustment to the food came much quicker than her adjustment to the altitude.  You are usually sick the first week and wanting to sleep all of the time. That is usually because you are having terrible headaches and feel really tired.  After a week she was back to normal.


 This is what I would usually have in San Pedro with Yolanda; fried fish, salad with lettuce tomatos and red onion, rice and lentils with manzanilla tea.  The price S./ 3.50 or $1.25.

Once I took Whitney here, she came back often.
Yolanda from San Pedro Market
Whitney is a foodie and will easily try the street food.  So even though I was here first, I depended on her to tell me which street food to eat.  I had never gotten sick off of the street food or the food in San Perdro, but I did get sick from one of the fancy restaurants around Plaza de Armas.

some street food

My girls have not only adjusted but thrived in this new country.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Moving Abroad



This chick is ready to go.
Moving out of the USA was something that I have always wanted to do.  At first I didn't know anyone personally that had done this other than military people. I wanted to do it for the experience of living somewhere that was very different from what I was use to.  As the years passed by I started to meet people who had lived abroad and returned to the US. Most of them were people in their 20s and they backpacked around Europe which was the norm.  Yes they were gone for a couple of years, but they were much younger than me and they were backpacking, which was no longer of interest to me.

I started to find more and more blogs out there where others were in their 50s and living abroad, but none of them were single women.  Regardless, I started to communicate with a few of those that were in my age group.  They of course gave good advice, but I didn't totally trust this because I didn't know these people and I didn't think that they would give me the truth about the good and the bad.  By not knowing them personally I was reluctant to ask them really personal questions, especially when it came to money. I just decided to take the chance, because if all else failed, I could always return to the USA and get back to work.



When the opportunity presented itself,  after much research and planning, I decided to go for 6 months to South America. I was always partial to the Spanish culture and wanted to learn more about it..
After recovering from several surgeries, spending a year in Savannah with my daughter and my new granddaughter, house-sitting for a  month (3 wks) in Berkeley, California, and taking a week to drive through parts of Northern California, I decided Peru was where I would start.  The plan was to stay for 6 months and move on to somewhere else.  Many ask why did I choose Peru?  Now I know that I didn't choose Peru, Peru chose me.

Gia turns 1.

Avenue of the Giants in Humbodlt County, California
 The hardest part was leaving this little one.  I had to realize that I had to step back and let my daughter be a mother, and trust that I had taught her well.

Then off I went.

First to Berkeley, California, then driving to Northern California to see the beautiful Redwood Forrest.
Mount Shasta, part of the Cascade Range in Siskiyou County,California





It is time!



Andes Mountains on the way to Urubamba Valley
I am on my way to this beautiful land, with an apartment waiting for me in Cuzco, Peru. Cuzco is the home to the famous Inca Empire in the Andes Mountains.  Something we all read about in grade school,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Can You Find "Mr. Right" online? Are you still looking?

What Are the Odds of Finding Mr. Right Online?     The odds of finding your “soul-mate” online are a lot better than you may think. It doesn't happen for everyone, of course, but it can happen for you. The world of internet or online dating has exploded over the last few years.   As our lives become busier and busier we need to make better use of our time and energy in our search for the one man who will make our lives complete.   Some believe that ,the old saying, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a princess” is no longer true; and why kiss frogs when you can read hundreds of profiles and look at the pictures that go with them for a small monthly fee? That saves time and money…not to mention lip burn.  To me it may diminish the number of frogs that you have to kiss, but the chance of you finding the right one for you on the first meeting with someone you meet online is not true either.   These are a few good reasons to consider online dating:   (1)  There is a wide range of men to choose from. You aren’t limited to the men in your social circle or work environment.   (2)  You have the opportunity to get to know a lot about a man before you ever contact him for the first time. You will know his age, marital status, what city he lives in, whether he has children, his height/weight and his likes and dislikes all from his profile. You’ll even see a picture of him.   (3)  You have a better chance to present yourself in a favorable way. This is especially useful for those of us who are shy. We have time to think about how we want to say things about ourselves and can avoid being tongue tied. Even those who are more extroverted can take time to reflect on who they really are before writing their online profile.   (4)  Online dating is certainly a time saver. You can meet so many more men in a lot less time than you ever could out in the real world.
    Comparison Chart of  The Dating Sites

 ************************ The Advantages of Online Dating for Women     In the past, i.e. the 1990’s, online dating was a brand new idea. Unlike today, most people did not own PC’s or even have access to the internet. Times have changed. Online dating is not only IN the mainstream, it IS the mainstream.   There are many reasons for the phenomenal growth of online dating sites and the number of people, men and women of all ages, races and religions who use them as their primary source for meeting people and looking for “the one”.   If you don’t believe me, just ask your friends in the “real” world. If they are honest, most of them will tell you they have or are using an online dating service.   Here are three good reasons why thousands of people sign up for dating services everyday:   (1)  You can be anonymous. You will never be required to give your real name, address, email address, phone number or place of employment to another online user. You, of course, may do so but only at your own discretion and only when you feel completely safe. You are not required to post a picture of yourself. Posting a picture, however, will get more responses to your profile. So you can surf through the other members on the dating site you have joined with complete anonymity.   (2)  You have so many more choices online that you do in your brick and mortar world. Before the world of online dating came of age, the choice of friends and even of lifetime partners was limited to those we came in contact with through college or work. No more…the world is your oyster. You can go through hundreds…even thousands of profiles to find the right man for you.   (3)  The “safety factor” is the biggest reason of all. An online dating service will never reveal your personal information. You get to choose who has that information and when they have it.

 ********************* Online Dating Safety for Women     Online dating can be a fun and certainly a rewarding experience for women of all ages. Maintaining your safety while doing it is simply a combination of using common sense and exercising good judgment. Online safety rules are the same as real world safety rules.   You wouldn’t give your name, address and phone number to a strange man that you met in a bar or on the street so you should never do that online either. Play it safe. Get to know this man who could turn out to be Prince Charming before you give out any information that could make it possible for him or others to trace you. Don’t tell a stranger exactly where you work. Say that you are a legal secretary (if that’s what you are) for a mid-sized law firm….not that you work for Brown, Smith and Jones Attorneys-at-law. It is safe to tell him what city you live in but you should wait to be any more specific than that until you have been chatting and exchanging emails for awhile.   Use only the tools provided by the dating service you belong to. Most offer chat and private email on their site. Do not give out your isp email address. If you must give out an email address make it a free one such as Hotmail or Yahoo. Your isp address is traceable for anyone who wants to go to the trouble.     When the time comes for you to have your first face-to-face, make that first meeting in a public place and during day light hours. Take a friend with you or arrange for one to call you on your cell soon after the arranged meeting.   Remember…you ARE in control so do not let anyone pressure you into revealing more personal information than you are comfortable with revealing.

 ************* How Do I Choose the Right Site For Me?     With the explosion of online dating sites has come a virtual smorgasbord of choices. There are free sites… I don’t recommend those but if money is a real concern, they are better than nothing. There are the large paid sites with many and varied features like chat, IM and even matching using profiles. There are the less expensive paid sites with few features. There are special interest sites for almost any thing you can think of...outdoor enthusiasts, couch potatoes, religious, non-religious, gays, lesbians…like I said…almost anything you can think of. So what’s a girl to do? A girl should choose the site or sites that best fit her needs.   Here are some things to consider:   (1) Cost. How much do you want or how much can you spend each month for your membership (s)? (2) Features. Which features are the most important to you? (A)                   Profile matching systems. Is this a feature you really want or would you rather decide who is right for you all by yourself? (B)                    Chat and IM’s? There are websites who offer chat rooms and IM’s on their sites. Does that matter or would you be happy just sticking to private email. (C)                    Outside Events…such as speed dating? Are you interested in that? (D)                   Privacy. Some websites allow you to limit who can view your picture or your profile. Does this matter to you or do you want as wide exposure as you can have? (E)Safety. There are websites who do background checks of all subscribers and certify their age, marital status and background. Would you feel safer using this feature?   These are a few things but not all things you should consider when choosing an online dating service or services. Do your homework and choose wisely for the best results for you.   




******* A Woman’s “Don’ts” of Online Dating     There are some things that women should never do while engaged in an online relationship with a man.  These things are certain to put a quick and final end to any further communications with him.   While chatting online or by email do not write your life story.  His eyes will glaze over and he will fall out of his chair.  Keep it short and sweet until he asks for details…then provide them slowly and only answer the questions he asks.  For instance:  If he asks how many siblings you have, he is NOT asking for the details of your interaction with them.  He really just wants to know how many you have. Say you have 2 (or whatever is true) and then ask how many he has.  For every question he asks you, you should ask one of him.   Nothing turns a man off like a long- winded woman who just doesn’t know when to shut up or how to listen.   Never, ever, EVER lie.  I really believe that lies will catch up with you sooner or later.  Many women (and men) lie about their age, marital status, employment, height, weight and a host of other things in their online profiles.  That is a huge mistake.  If you find a man who you are really interested in, he will find out you lied and there goes any possibility of the relationship progressing.  So, just be honest.  There is someone out there who will like you…even come to love you…for exactly the person you are.   Don’t be too eager.  It makes you look desperate and it really puts a man off.  They are first and foremost conquerors and if getting the person of their desires to like them too is just too easy, they will quickly lose interest.  I don’t mean play “hard-to-get”.  I mean, don’t push for a face-to-face meeting.  Don’t email them or IM them too frequently.  Play it safe and play it cool.        

Experimenting

For some time now, I have been buying fresh vegetables that I have never eaten before and using the web to learn how to cook them.  I am from the South and soul food is what I grew up on, but my mother would tell you that I was a really picky eater and didn't like most of it as a child.  As I got older and started to cook I branched out from the food that I grew up on, mostly because my family would take me out to the many great restaurants in Savannah, which exposed me to different foods. I started to like things such as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and the likes, but one of my favorites is corn beef and cabbage.
I attended catholic schools in the south that was greatly influenced by the many Irish people that lived in Savannah.

 Upon moving to Tampa and now Los Angeles, I started to discover foods in the grocery store like none I had ever seen before.  In the beginning I would see different fruits and vegetables but still wouldn't buy them.  I would stick to what I knew or what I discovered in my many cook books.  Not knowing what I was missing.  It wasn't until I met my husband in Florida who was from Tanzania that I started to eat Jamaican and African foods.

 My daughter had fallen in love with Cuban food, which is much like what I was use to growing up and too heavy for my taste.  I started to like curry foods, aloe juice, yucca,and ginger beer.  It was not until I moved to Los Angeles, that I was introduced to East Indian cuisine, that was great and then Mediterranean food. This opened up my palette to all sort of seasonings and ways of buying and using herbs and seasonings.  It has really changed the way that I buy food.  Now I understand so much more about people who live in cities like Los Angeles and New York where there are so many diverse cultures. When I lived in New York, I lived on campus, but often times I would visit the families of my friends there and my aunt who lived in Queens, and they would shop at the market every couple of days for whatever it was that they were going to cook. 
Where I was from, you would shop every couple of weeks and stock up on what you needed, and when I got older I would shop once a month, and spend a few hundred dollars, only going back for dairy products in between.  We put the deep freezer to good use.  I also wasn't privy to such a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and often times it was rather expensive to buy them. This is all coming together as I really discover what life is really about and how to live it to the fullest.  Something as simple as food also comes into play.  I know, seems like something so simple and the point is that it is really simple. We tend to make things more complicated than they have to be.  Food is simply to nourish the body. It is not to soothe the palette, the soul, the mind, or even the spirit, it is merely to nourish and maintain the health of the body.  When we discover that simple fact, we will look at food very differently as I have started to.

The City of Entertainment

With my 50th birthday only four days away, I received an email for a vacation package to Las Vegas, and since I had never been I decided to check it out. Most of Friday, I went back and forth from website to website trying to find the best deal to Las Vegas. LA City Tours has a bus tour that I thought would be fun, since I was going alone, but I was not too excited about the hotel that they were using. When I was reading through the reviews, there were none on the hotel itself, they were all about getting the best steak for the buck. Since I am not a steak lover, I was not impressed, so I decided to skip on that package.  My search continued.  Priceline, Jetblue Airlines, and US Airways all had pretty good packages for Las Vegas, with a choice of hotels. After researching the hotels, I decided on a package from Jetblue with the New York New York Hotel and Casino.  It was definitely the best value.

 Inside the hotel and casino is like a city, with street signs, coney island, coffee shops, even a rollercoaster. Since I love New York City, this was a great reminder for me. The room was nice and very comfortable. Park Avenue Deluxe w/ King Bed.




 I am telling that this place is huge with about 15 different places to eat all under one roof.

 Waking up here on my 50th birthday was fun. At first I thought that I was way out my league, because I am not a big party girl, but after walking the strip the next day, I felt nothing but amazement.

Most of that amazement was in the architecture and everything being bigger than life on the strip, a.k.a. Las Vegas Blvd. Even in the middle of the week the strip was jammed with people from every part of the globe.

I met two separate couples that flew to Vegas from Australia. For me this trip was mostly for discovery. discovering what everyone loves about Vegas. Now I didn't catch any of the shows or win any significant amount of money, but I did enjoy the atmosphere and some great food.



When I go back, yes I am going back, I will go to see a couple of shows and visit a few more fabulous restaurants. It would not be Vegas if you don't see at least one Elvis Impersonator Or two.









Monday, April 14, 2014

A Nightmare -The Dentist

Today was a pretty tough one after spending five hours at the dentist office.I was so ready to run out of there. I have never liked going to the dentist. For me it is almost as invasive as my gynecologist. I guess with the latter, I have come to expect it and am use to it, and it is usually pretty quick. However, when someone is in your head sticking and poking and prodding for five hours, you are ready for them to get the hell out. I don’t know anyone that likes the dentist, but I like it even less than most. I always associate a dentist with a construction worker. These days they do pretty much the same thing. Often times they build foundations to put a crown or a bridge or even an implant. Then they sit back and admire their work. They say things like, “that is a beautiful crown, it’s porcelain”, even before it is in your mouth. They use a great deal of tools for pushing things in the gums, in the teeth, around the teeth and for clean-up during and after their construction. Not too mention, they often times use a great deal of pressure to make things stay in place. We will not even talk about the DRILLING. Like I say, very much like a construction worker. One of the differences may be that a construction worker often times have a larger space, or parcel, to start his construction, when the dentist has a hole in the front of your face to go through, frequently forgetting that there are lips in front of those teeth. After they finish rubbing every instrument and cleaning device over them, you want to forget that the lips are there too. Sort of like building a small city in a gourd. It takes patience, precision, and if you are lucky, a gentle hand.