Saturday, April 25, 2009

Arrival in Lima

Well… looks like I don’t have internet at the moment, but when I do I will post this.
It is only 6:50 and I have been awake since 6. The birds are singing and it is lovely but loud! I’m having a little trouble figuring out what the time is, but I went downstairs last night clock hunting, and if the only clock I found was right then I think it was 11:30 when I finally got to go to bed. I tried to find someone to ask, but people were sleeping. I hope I have got the time right as Juan is coming to pick Miranda and I up at 9.
On the plane to Lima I made another friend! Guess what his name is? Juan! He is 29 and quite gorgey, and we chatted for about 4 hours. His English was quite good as he’s worked in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. He was an intelligent engineer and knew a lot more than me about politics and the economy, but I tried to keep up! I tried to do a lot of sleeping on the plane because I was tired and it was very boring. My ears also really hurt! Juan says if I come back to Lima he will be my tour guide, which would be quite handy as everyone here speaks Spanish so sometimes it is hard to get the nub of what is going on. I was very disappointed that it got dark right after the Gulf of Mexico because I was hoping to be able to see South America from the sky! I could see Florida really well though! I didn’t have a window seat because when I got to my assigned seat an older type Spanish-speaking lady was sitting there and she looked all confused bless, so the lady next to her asked her for her ticket and she was sitting in A instead of H, so I said I’d go and sit in H and that was great because then I met Juan! When we passed the equator the pilot said, “welcome to fall!” Haha. It feels like a hot sticky summer to me, it was 26 when I landed and I think I should have packed more shirts and capris, however Cajamarca could be very different.
I had no problems at customs, it was just stamp stamp stamp and go ahead. I don’t think the Customs lady even looked at me!
A man named Julio picked me up at the airport which was interesting because he speaks pretty much zero English Hahahaha. My first test and I was so tired, estoy muy cansado as I told him wrongly and he corrected, because I am a girl and was actually cansada. But he got the gist and was very friendly. The driving policy in Lima seems to be a free for all. Before Julio started driving he crossed himself and did a little kiss and prayer thing which was a little disconcerting but also to be expected as the majority of people here are Catholic. He has a little plaque of Jesus on the Cross in his car too. Wow my batteries are running low I will have to try and find an adapter ASAP! There are Scotiabanks everywhere. Julio was very excited when I told him that was my bank and he started pointing them out, averaging one per block. It was crazy! He also pointed out McDonalds, Burger King, and KFC, muchas grases (lots of fat) as I said and he wholeheartedly agreed. I was very proud of myself for managing to ask what the big yellow square vehicles were and understand the response. They cart around money from bank to bank and are very expensive apparently. There are Zebra crossings everywhere. It would be like having Zebra crossings all over Portage Avenue at rush hour. It’s not really a good idea! People are in the streets running around and the cars are honking all the time. At one point Julio stopped in-between two lanes to tell me twice, because the first time I was totally lost, that I was never ever to get out on the right side of the car because that equals danger of death. Well, I don’t think he said the danger of death bit, but as the cars zoomed by I understood his reasoning. Left side it is! I thanked Julio and he said “tranquilo, no pasa nada” haha, (relax, it’s nothing) and actually seemed a little put out by me saying thanks. I really hope that WUSC paid him to come and get me because I totally forgot to pay him and he never asked for money, nor now that I think about it was there a meter on the car. I will ask Miranda later.
Lima is split into a bunch of different districts, and I am in San Isidro right now staying in Margarita Akamine’s house. To get here we had to go through a security gate so it’s pretty safe I think, not that I have seen anything remotely resembling violence here. It is a very pretty building outside and the lady who runs it is tiny! She must be only about 4 feet and very slim and so welcoming! “Mi casa es su casa” (my house is your house) as she said! It is awesome, you have to go up spiral stairs to get to each floor! I am on the 3rd floor and there is a big step up to my room which is very nice! I met Miranda, who said she was really glad to see me because her Spanish isn’t that good either, which makes me feel better about mine haha. She was very sunburnt, so I am going to slather on sunscreen today! She flew in from Vancouver- Mexico and then Mexico-Lima and apparently had lots of turbulence. I had quite a lot of that too! She arrived on Tuesday morning and is coming with Juan and I to Cajamarca to check ICPNA there, and then heading off to Chiclayo. I’ve also met another lodger here from Japan who has been staying for 6 months. He had been to Canada and asked if I spoke French. He speaks Japanese, English, Spanish and French. Good grief! There are bars on my window which I first though was to stop any suicide attempts (kidding) but might be so that nobody can crawl through it. They have pretty patterns on them. I opened the window right up and checked for bugs before I went to bed. I thought I saw something on the wall and got up to make sure it was a bug but it was a nail. Hahaha. I had a quick shower before bed and then conked right out. It is still only 7:30 and don’t really need to be up yet but it is so light and I think I’m going to explore the house and maybe find some food! Talk to you later!
P.s. The pic is of me and the housekeeper at Margaritas. She is lovely.


  1. I hope you're having a good time in Peru!

    -helen- :)

  2. Thanks Helen! I am! Hope you enjoyed recital.