Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Llegamos a Peru
First off, yes Peru is a third world country if you were wondering. You can get real picky and say that it is not but en realidad, it is. The picture on the left is the view from atop the house where I am staying. Down a flight a stairs is the courtyard and sunday school classrooms along with the entrance to the house. Down another flight of stairs is the Nazarene church, in which my host parents is the pastor of (20 years now and running.)
My host parents are the sweetest, nicest, most considerate couple I have ever met. Within 10 minutes of being in their house, they said that Micah (my American partner) and I were their "hijos nuevos" or new children. Their daughter and son moved out and started their own life. Genaro y Susana are the names of our host parents. They have so little, but love so much. When they saw that Micah and I had a computer their eyes lit up. They asked if they could check their correo electronico, or e-mail. David y Susana, my house parents' daughter and son-in-law, stopped by. We actually talked to them for about 3 hours. They were trying to sharpen up their English, which was about as good as our Spanish, so they would talk to us in English and we would respond in Spanish. They are very interesting people also.
In Peru, if you're making 1000 soles a week, you're doing very well. There are about 3 soles to every 1 American dollar. Arequipa looks like the slums, I guess that's the best way to put it. You can get a tiny taste of what it looks like in the photo above. The traffic is absolutely insane. Rarely is there a stop sign or even rarer a stop light. You just go into an intersection and use experience and knowledge to maneuver around cars and people. It's even worse trying not to get hit by a car when you are trying to cross the street. It pretty much smells like gasoline, oil, or diesel fuel whenever you're not in a building or sometimes when you're in a building. Yes, the water in the toilets does spin the other way. Enough said there.
With the food, I was humbled right away. I've talked about eggs en Los Estados Unidos (U.S.) and how I don't like them at all. How I will be okay with everything but eggs. Well for my first meal in Peru, desayuno, guess what I got to have. You are correct if you guessed eggs. Other than that, I've had platefuls of rice, chicken, no soup yet, and potatoes. I did well on everything but the potato today at lunch. They have "Inca Cola" here in Peru. It's a soda made by Coca Cola but it has the flavor of bubble gum and it is yellow. It's interesting, and I like it a lot.
We also walked around with our professors of the language school. I am attending a brand new language school started by the organization I came here with. They want to immerse us in the culture and language. So instead of sitting in a classroom all the time, we are going to go out and they teach us life on the streets or el mercado or with our families.
I'm super excited to continue on and hopefully master the language. Please pray that I embrace this culture fully and grasp the language greatly. I presented a lot of information in this one, hope you enjoyed it. Gracias!