Scenes from Tuesday in Perú

October 22, 2008

Today was a mix of relaxing and working and witnessing.  At the Manuela Ramos office this morning I found out that I wasn’t needed until three 3pm, so I took a little walk around the neighborhood.



This is a main street in central Trujillo.  The buildings here are mostly in colonial style.  It looks pretty deserted now, but by mid morning the doors will have opened and the shop keepers will be out in full force.




Here is a picture taken closer to my house of the more contemporary areas of Trujillo.  This is just a side street, but in general Trujillo is much more tranquil than Lima.




So … this is a little weird, but who knows maybe someone is interested in what I take around with me when I walk out the door. Not much – a cosmetics case with kleenex, chapstick and hand sanitizer; some pocket change; a little card case with my insurance cards and a copy of my passport; my key that I leave with the hotel – and that’s pretty much it. There are so called “razor artists” not so much here but in Lima definitely.  They will slash your bag and sneak around in there for goodies.  Some people stuff plastic bags at the bottom and sides of their bags as mini-alarms so they can hear when someone is pick-pocketing them.


When I’ve gone out to the barrios, I basically only carry pocket change, my list of people to visit and my camera concealed inside my jacket.  No purse, like Amelia says.  They say that there are professional thieves working the combis (picture of the interior below)




But hopefully I’ll never have to worry about them.



Here is a picture of El Porvenir – the neighborhood that I visited today about twenty minutes from Trujillo’s center.  I traveled there with Dalylah, the loan officer responsible for the Bendicion de Dios communal bank.  On the way she talked to me about the group and its recent troubles which are significant.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to write more about their story.



This is a picture of the house where the bank’s monthly meetings are held.  Two families live here: a mother and her daughter in the upstairs apartments and the mother’s sister and another niece in the downstairs apartment.


Inside, the floors, walls and ceilings of the house are made of a mix of poured concrete, bricks and concrete blocks.  The floor is damp in places and most of the furniture has tarp coverings – I wondered if there was a leaking problem somewhere?  The front room is large and has a wardrobe, bed, long table, two arm chairs and several smaller wooden chairs along with a buffet, an older television (the kind that stands on four wooden legs) and a small dresser.


For the meeting most of the furniture has been pushed to the back half of the room to make room for the women meeting there.




Here is a picture of some of the señoras outside the house after the meeting.  Dalylah is the woman in the track suit on the right.  They are getting in a few last questions before she leaves for her next meeting.


Afterwards, Dalylah walked a couple of blocks to the spot she had scheduled for the evening.  I said my goodbyes and jumped on another combi back to town.



Here is a picture of some outdoor welding we drove by on the way back to Trujillo.  I think maybe they’re making some cool doors, no?


And of course I always (always? Hasn’t it only been three days?) end my night at the internet café and then some dinner to top it off.



Here is a picture of my dinner spot tonight.  In Perú, lunch is the largest meal of the day – two and sometimes three courses – while dinner is very light.  So I see lots of people eating street food for dinner – a sandwich or a hot dog or sometimes an anticucho (kebab).  This is a hamburger and fried sandwich stand.  I had a burger but I saw him make “Russian Chicken” and I’m definitely getting it next time – it seems basically like a shredded chicken omelet with cheese in a bun. Yummm, I’m totally on it next time!


And to be extra sinful I picked up a churro for desert.  I would have taken a picture but it was gone before I got to my camera 😉




One last snapshot of the journey home tonight at 8:30.  See? No need to be worried, it’s nice and lively where I walk around at night.  And until I find some Peruvian friendsters, my curfew is early!



  1. Great combi photo! PS I told Tim (my husband) about your work. He has a million questions (since his work here was originally supposed to be in economic development) and can’t wait to meet you.

  2. Good stuff. Let me know how the Russian Chicken is. Your neighborhood looks really nice

  3. hhmmm….fried sandwich, eh? I’m intrigued…

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