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First Days…

October 17, 2008

Okay, my first day in Lima was proceeded by my first night – the airport was a blessed breeze – a $15 airport pickup is totally worth it – especially for a half-scared newcomer like myself. The night drive through Lima to my hostel was eerie. Even in the darkness I could see the soot staining the buildings. The streets were empty save for a few mysterious solo travelers. I wondered what they were up to at 1:30 am all by themselves with hardly a car on the road and definitely no other passerby for miles at a time. Where we were driving the nightlife seemed non-existent. This wasn’t the happening scene I had recently read about in the New York Times article – but maybe we just weren’t driving through those lively parts. In fact, everything we drove by was barred and gated. I’d expected it somewhat, but it was especially intimidating at night when, in addition to being barred and gated, the city was also deserted.

 

Beto, the Parrot


I spent my first night at the Hostal García – an otherwise nondescript place save for the cockroach in my shower (bad!) and the huge parrot on my balcony (awesome!). I had dreams of the parrot, Mom and Paul my first night: the parrot and I played footsie, Mom and I got into an argument over a comforter she’d sent all the way to Perú to keep me warm and Paul made an instant meal by pouring water on a big Styrofoam rug! I have to admit I tossed a little fitfully in my sleep sack (this was my first time in a sleep sack by the way and it’s a great idea for those not so nice places!). Tonight I think will be more restful. I’m safely and happily installed at La Posada del Parque – a lovely, spotless, friendly and sweet hostel across the park from my favorite Peruvian parrot.

 

La Posada del Parque

The Posada is an old 1930’s mansion that’s been converted into a guesthouse. I moved here this morning before heading out to my first meeting with Manuela Ramos.

El Movimiento Manuela Ramos is a feminist organization that reminds me of the YWCA a little bit. Except the national office of the YWCA doesn’t have security guards, barbed wire or nine foot fences… I get the feeling they take security very seriously in Lima – The Ministry of Defense has full on machine-gunnified personnel strolling the sidewalk in front of the building… But back to Manuela Ramos. The organization is impressive – they have served women for 30 years through domestic violence prevention, women’s health and microcredit programs to name a few. I met with Ofelia Chavez the microcredit publicist and Gloria Díaz the organization’s executive director. I will be working with women only during my stay – this is totally like the Y! I kid, I kid… The meeting left me amped up and inspired. My work load seems considerable, but then again, that’s what I’m here to do, no? With a little bit of disappointment and relief, I found out that my reports will all be in English. To compensate, my personal journaling will be entirely in Spanish… at least for now.

After my meeting at the Manuela Ramos office I taxied back to the hotel and put on my sneaks for my first real jaunt – a little walk to a restaurant six blocks away. Lima is much less scary during the day when all the shops are open and the sun and people are out. Although all the soot I spied in the nighttime was still there. My lunch was yummy – nothing beats some lomo saltado – pork and French fries woohoo! I also had my first brushes with Skype at a local internet garage. (the internet café was literally a garage for one small car except there were three phone booths and three computer stations).

Anyway, there’s nothing much to tell afterwards except that I returned to my lil Posada and commenced to youtube episodes of Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. Tomorrow I am treating myself to a real excursion – maybe Miraflores or Lima Antigua? Till then, much love y encatada de concerla, Lima!

More Pics below…

 

My room at La Posada del Parque

 

Neighboring mansions on the park

 

first breakfast – see Mom! Im eating well 🙂


PS – te echo de menos P

PPS- Sorry for the schizophrenic (sp?) blogging – as you can see im totally new to this!

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2 comments

  1. Great first post! La Posada del Parque looks pretty awesome, maybe we’ll crash there my first night in Lima?

    How was the Peruvian coffee? Looks pretty tasty.

    Can’t wait to hear more.


  2. Looks like you are practicing for a new career! It is good to see how you are living! Much love, and as always, be safe!



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