First week in Perú

So many things have changed…

Since I was living in Lima four years ago many things have changed in the country and in the culture of the people here.

For example, crime and robberies have risen in the past few years. It is no longer safe to take a random taxi off the street (I am so sad about this… I was excited to barter for lower taxi fares again… but alas) now you have to call a “taxi seguro” which means safe taxi. Although safe taxis are much more expensive, you’d be shocked to know that the taxi I took last night (which took about 45 minutes to get there because the driver really didn’t know where we were going) only cost S/. 30 or about $11. Other changes in transportation include the introduction of “blue busses” to Arequipa Street. The government is trying to decongest the streets by removing smaller combis or micros (which are van/ bus size) and have the people only ride these blue buses which have specific stops. This is very different to the chaotic system they have in place now where you can go to any street corner and catch a ride on a bus by asking the driver if they go by your destination. We will see if this “blue bus” plan works…

Another major change is that most people have smart phones now with 4G and candycrush. My poor Lima has been attacked by consumerism. In fact they put a new supermall (I may have made up that word) close to my house. It has more top-end brands than the malls in the States as well as a Starbucks, TGI Fridays, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Forever21 (coming soon). I am interested to see if Trujillo has changed as much as Lima has. (I hope not).

But the best things have stayed the same…

I am so grateful for the hospitality and generosity here. This week I stayed with the friend of a friend for a few days. We went out to eat and to the circus. I had an amazing time. I also visited the Bernales family who I have connections with from the states. They have two kids Joaquin and Alejandra and a beautiful house in Comas. We spent the day at the beach (it was so hot that people were swimming even though it is spring time here) watching the boats and eating. It was so nice to relax and be around the kids. They are growing up so fast! Irma also made me my favorite Peruvian dish- tallerines verdes- green noodles. I am very grateful to know them and can’t wait to visit again.

The rest of the week I have spent with my host family (from my study abroad). Mami (my Peruvian mom) and Willy (my Peruvian brother) have taken care of me, given me a room and wifi, and so much food I think I should fast for a week. I cannot express how grateful I am for their love and acceptance. Let me just talk about Mami for a minute. She is the mother of 6 children; Oscar is an artist living in New York. Amelia, Ana, Elena all work in Lima (Doing business of different sorts), Carlos is an accountant taking a prestigious 2-month long course in the US, and Willy is finishing up culinary school. Mami has hosted countless study abroad students and also cares for 13 guinea pigs. She is the most giving person I know. Each meal she makes everything from scratch, she waits up until her children get home, and she takes food to the ladies on the street who don’t have enough. At the same time though she also goes to therapy for her knee and has had trouble sleeping at night from the pain, but never once has she complained about it. She always speaks to me as a mother would about being good to others, showing compassion, loving, and having a good character. I think I realized this week that my love for Perú in large part comes from my love for this woman. I will miss her very much in Trujillo.

I will also miss my friends! This week I have met up with most of my friends and perhaps to your surprise only went out dancing once. It is so great to be back here again!

Tonight I will take a night bus (which is very safe) to Trujillo which is 8 hours away. From there I will begin my volunteer work. I CANNOT WAIT! If anyone is reading this and you have questions please ask 🙂 I miss you all very much! Besos

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One Response to First week in Perú

  1. Jacob Sims says:

    My sister is stinkin Awesome!!

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