Sorry it has taken me so long to add another entry, we have had activities planned almost all day every day, and then the wifi went out! My site director has been taking us to all kinds of cool places since we arrived and has also been recommending yummy foods, but more about that later!
Upon arrival at the airport, I was way excited, but also very tired. I can’t really ever sleep much if I’m not laying down and since my flight was an overnighter I was running on just a couple hours of sleep by time I landed. Customs was a little scary and stressful. I had no idea where to go or what I needed to do. It worked out fine and I was able to get through with a visa for most of my time here. I have to go get an extension though, which is rather inconvenient. I was so glad to see my bag once I got through customs. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if it was delayed because I was a smart packer, but it was reassuring to have a familiar sight. I walked out to the pick-up area and what greeted by my site director, Patricia, and another student names Jessica. It was so reassuring to see Patricia and to know that I was in the right place.
We traveled to my residence first, and boy oh boy was it an interesting trip! First of all, in Peru seatbelts are not worn except in the front seats. Some cars don’t have them at all! I’ve also discovered that about 80-90% of the traffic laws in the US don’t exist in Peru. Either that, or they simply aren’t enforced, which is odd because I see more police on a daily basis than I would over a few days in the states. I thought other cars were going to collide with ours multiple times, but miraculously we made it without a scratch. I am still surprised that I have not seen a single traffic accident.
When we arrived at my homestay Patricia walked me to the door and introduced me to my host mom, Nancy. She hardly speaks any English at all, which made me feel a bit nervous because I am only at an intermediate level. So far it has been fine. I then met my host dad Tito, who speaks a decent amount of English, which made me feel a lot better. He prefers to speak Spanish with the students though so that we learn the language. He slows down a lot and enunciates well when he speaks to us, which is very helpful. I also met Nancy and Tito’s daughter named Melissa. I didn’t end up meeting their son Benjamin until the next day. Their other daughter lives in Dubai, so I didn’t get to meet her. They also have a yorkie named Ruby. I was so excited to see a dog! They are a very sweet family and seem to genuinely care about our wellbeing.
I was the second student to arrive at the Patiño’s house. I met Shannon shortly after arriving. I was so happy to hear English and to have a buddy to get me through my first day. The two of us spent almost three hours sitting at the kitchen table and getting to know each other. It was so fun to learn about her and to find things that we have in common. Oh, and here’s a fun coincidence: we have the exact same birthday, year and everything! The next student, Melissa, arrived the next day. She is a surfer and is from Connecticut. Shannon is from Maryland but goes to school in Boston. Jessica is from Portland, Maine. It has been so fun learning about the culture of the east coast while also learning about the culture of Peru.
I will post again in the next couple of days to catch you all up on my first week in Lima. It has been wonderful so far and I am loving every minute of it!
Sorry my pictures are upside down and sideways, I’m working on fixing that!