Amy in Peru: An Odyssey

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The first few days in Lima

Good day all!

Just a quick entry--- no pics yet, until i get settled with my own comp. But I thought I would write quickly, to let people know I am alive and well in Lima. We (myself and Nilou, another CUSO cooperant) arrived around 1 am on Monday, after a very long flight from Toronto. We were picked up by the FANTASTIC CUSO office people (more later) and were dropped off in a hostel for the night (we are still there actually--- it is comfortable and cheap--- I will probably stay there for the two weeks of spanish lessons before moving to Huancavelica).

The next day (or the fisrt day really), we were shown around the environs of our hostel neighbourhood (named Miraflores) by the CUSO offices "vigilente" Juan, who is extremely nice and helpful. Security is apparently a big deal, and we are accompanied most of the time, especially when travelling accross the city (at least for now, until wqe get used to it). No big scares or anythying, but one definately does not feel very safe walking the streets.

Anyway, after the tour, we took a combi (which is sort of like a privaely owned bus, that stops wherever you want, on a certain route, for 1 sole, or about .30$) to the CUSO office, across town. We met the rest of the people working at the office, did some preliminary stuff, and after a lunch of potatoes with a bunch of sauces (what else?!) and a drink made of purple corn (woo hoo!), we went back to the hostel to sleep and rest before the fiesta that night.

The fiesta was not being thown for us.... :) It was for another CUSO cooperant who had won a big development prize, but lots of people in the Peru NGO field were there, which was great! I even got to meet the director of EDUCA, which was very useful and I appreciated this casual way of being able to introduce ourselves! The party was a great introduction into the office, and we got to try some great food, and listen to some amazing music (mostly on guitar, but also some played withthe jawbone of bull--- go figure!) It was a lovely evening, and a great time!

All in all, things have really been great, and people have been extremely welcoming at the CUSO office, and have really made huge efforts to make us feel welcome, comfortable, safe and happy. Carmen (the head honcho at the office) even took us around yesterday on her day off into the center of the city, and around to a few other barrios in the city. We also went to a little market that had been set up, and grabbed a beautiful cfe con leche--- i am not a huge coffee fan, but i can definately get used to the cafes con leche... And I have also discovered the sensory joys of sweet lemons (limones dulces)--- holy fragrant!! I love them!

Today, we went to the Canadian embassy to get registered (not even a maple candy or ANYTHING to greet us--- i will be writing a letter...) :) and opened our bank accounts. Nothing too exciting, but it is nice to be able to take our time getting things done and aclimatizing and getting used to things. Otherwise, it is surprisingly cold, I have to say--- its not so much the temperature, but the humidity that makes it freezing, especially at night. Quite a surprise, but not too bad.

I will sign off now--- will post again soon! Happy thursday, and keep in touch!


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