¡Buenos días familia y amigos!
Well, it has been interesting trying to survive without much internet connection the past week or so. Peru has terrible wifi, no matter where you go. The connection is never strong and there is certainly no reliability. To make it worse, there are thirteen other people living in my house to share the wifi with and thousands of other students at school to share the wifi with there. Then there’s the fact that a lot of students don’t have their own computers, so it is difficult finding an available desktop computer on campus. Anyways, I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to post again, now you know why.
Besides wifi issues and a few other minor things that I am struggling to adjust to, everything is going great! I am enjoying my classes and enjoying getting to know my housemates better, especially Liz, the girl from Brazil. I enjoy spending time with her because I like her personality but also because I HAVE TO speak Spanish with her. She doesn’t know much English and I know zero Portuguese, so Spanish is really the only way. This is helping me become more comfortable speaking the language.
The food is still very delicious. I prefer the days that our cook comes. She cooks for us most days and it is always delicious. I have been trying food in restaurants as well. I have long school days Tuesday and Thursday (11am-9pm) and it is not ideal to go home on my break, so I end up eating at school. There are a bunch of restaurants near campus. I am enjoying trying new places and dishes. Melissa and I have decided that from now on when we go to restaurants we’re going to start ordering dishes that we have no idea what they are. I don’t usually eat out often back home, maybe once a week, so I don’t really like eating out so much. There are healthy options at most restaurants, so it is mostly a money issue. However, I have to remind myself of the currency exchange. When I worry about spending nine soles on lunch I have to remember that I’m really only spending $2.75 and put that into perspective of how much I might spend on a meal in the states.
I am still really missing clean air. The entire trip to and from school is hardly bearable. I feel like I’m breathing in nothing but carbon emissions. I can feel the heaviness and thickness of the air with every breath. Even though it is cool out because it is winter, it doesn’t feel cool like it would back home. There isn’t that crispness. The air isn’t as bad away from the main roads, but I still feel like I haven’t smelled fresh air since I stepped into PDX almost a month ago. I went on a run at the park by my house yesterday and even just being amongst the trees and the grass it seemed fresher. Not fresh, but fresher.
This week we learned not to swallow ocean water. Melissa spent five days in the hospital this past week, likely from e. coli in the ocean. I can’t imagine how awful it must’ve been to be in a hospital bed for five days, not being allowed to eat and not being able to go to classes or go sightseeing. We went to visit her twice, which I think she enjoyed. She requested that I sing to her one of the days. I don’t usually sing on the spot, but when your friend is in a hospital bed you’ll do just about anything to help.
Speaking of singing, I auditioned for a music ensemble at school last week. And I got in!!! I am SO excited! It is a pop cover band, so we will be learning songs that are popular in the states. American music is VERY popular here. I was surprised to learn that. Anyways, this group will be performing around Lima in the evenings and finish up with a concert in December with lights and a stage and everything! I am also excited to be sharing music abroad again. My goal is to sing in every country I travel to. I have also enjoyed singing with one of the other students living with me who has a guitar (and is very talented at playing it). There is also a piano here, which I am very happy about. I played it yesterday for an hour or two and my host family requested that I play every night. It was a nice way to relax and enjoy the afternoon.
It is sunny today, for the third day in a row actually, which is very abnormal for a Lima winter. I am loving it though! Anyways, I’m going to sign out and go enjoy this sunshine while it lasts.
I hope everything is well back at home! Love and miss you all!
This is the music room at school where I will be rehearsing with my band.
This is the park next to my house.
This is an upside down picture of me and Liz. (I can’t figure out how to rotate pictures, sorry!)