I'm officailly a day behind...and have no plans of catching up. So we'll jump right into day seven, which was yesterday (Sunday). Like most of our days, Sunday's plan was only a rough outline of possible events. Free day? Beach attempt take 2? Errands? Sleep? Visit to Lisseth's family in Ate? Sometimes it's great to have options, and sometimes it just means being decisive, which we already estblishe is not my (nor anyone else in this group's) strongsuite. In instances with choices on this trip (like this past Sunday) random events have worked out in odd ways to make our decisions for us. So this morning, I happened to wake up early and was getting ready for the day when Jay and Lisseth informed me that they and Zach had a taxi coming to go to Lisseth's parents. Since no one else was really up and going yet--- and since any chance to spend more time with Jay and Lisseth is worth taking full advantage of---I hopped on board. Bill was still feeling under the weather and happy to be able to sleep in. And Morgan and Lindsey were content in starting the days with showers and some chill time. Lindsey very much deserved a nice shower. She's going to write me up a little blurb to share with you all, because she went on a solo adventure Saturday to Ica to a place that involved a lot of sun and a lot of sand....(<---more on that later)
For now, I'm going to leave you with Zach, for his account of our day with the Conza's. [ I'm going to preface this with saying he did an exceptional job of describing our day annd I'm likely going to write way too much about this day too (shocking, I know) because it was that great and I loved every bit of it. Here's Zach:
>>>Peru. Day 5. Or is it 7? The hard drives that I’ve been backing my video up on tell me it’s day 6, but I suppose that’s a bit irrelevant at this point. Anywho, we’ve been here since the 11th and today was another one of those days where the real Peru further revealed herself to me.
We left our hostel around 7:30 and were en route to Lisseth’s parents house. My expectations were fairly limited, but I knew that we were going to be eating an authentic Peruvian meal for both breakfast and dinner. Good food equals happy Zach.
When we arrived at their home I instantly felt, well...at home. I had met Cristina and Adelino earlier in our adventure, but it was a brief encounter - just enough to barely stumble along in some Spanish while I attempted to properly introduce myself. Despite how little they actually knew me, it felt as if they had been in my family for quite some time, almost like long lost grandparents. I greeted Adelino with a handshake and a hug and Cristina with a single kiss on the cheek - a South American tradition. I also said hi to Cooper, the family dog - a gorgeous mixed breed with golden fur and playful brown eyes.
Heavenly smells had already filled the room as Cristina was hard at work prepping the day’s meals. Our breakfast was simple, but had me wondering, “Why the hell don’t I do this for breakfast?” It was some of the most finely crafted bread I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying served with avocado (or palta in Peru) that may have forever ruined my perception of the avocados I eat in the states. You know how rare it is to get that perfect avocado? The one that’s just perfectly ripe, yet still green, fresh, and buttery on the tongue? Well every single avocado we ate was like that and there was a seemingly infinite quantity of them continually emerging from the kitchen.
For lunch we ate a meal that I’ve been thinking about since I found out I was going on this trip, authentic Peruvian ceviche. If you don’t know what ceviche is, it’s fish that is cooked with the acidity of citrus, primarily lemon. I don’t understand how a fruit can cook anything but believe me when I tell you that this was some of the most flavorful seafood my tastebuds have ever encountered. The lemon juice had become infused with the fish, ingrained into the very fiber of its existence - well, former existence I suppose. The fish was now dead and headed for my digestive tract.
Our meal also consisted of many other plates, all equally mind blowing in their own ways including sweet potato, Peruvian corn, a fried fish of some type, as well as fried corn which I’ve been told is the Peruvian version of popcorn. Think what corn chips are actually supposed to taste like. The entire experience was one of pure bliss. I realized that I hadn’t said a thing for about ten minutes and apologized. I kind of forgot I was a human being and not just a vessel for ecstasy in the form of ceviche.
Throughout our entire day we exchanged stories, laughed, ate, walked around town, I even got a much needed cat nap in! All the while I could not have felt more at home and I think that is a true testament to how beautiful Lisseth’s parents are. I see where she gets her charm from. Both of them have a magic about them. It’s a sense of instant trust that is rare to find in people. Despite having spent just hours with them I knew that no matter what, they were going to do whatever they could to make sure I felt safe and loved. It’s an amazing quality and I strive to achieve with as many as I can.
I’ve rambled on too much already but I’ll just say in summary, it was an incredible day and it has forever changed the way I look at the world and myself. You are beautiful Peru. Thank you for having me. Take it away Sarah! >>>
Hello. It's me.
I second all of that. And yes, I do like ceviche. And purple drink, called chicha. And hugs. And Lisseth's parents give great hugs. The language barrier didn't exist. We just were all day, we were joking and making fun of each other and looking through pictures of baby Lisseth. In between breakfast and lunch, Adelino took me and Jay and Zach for a walk around the town and we got to see the river that is the country's main water source, a little park, a league soccer game, and local futsol! I could have watched them play all day. Sunday's in Peru are dedicated to soccer and beer (Aaron, you need to come back here with me). We are going to try to find another pick-up game to hop into next Sunday. Harriets first soccer experience in Peru?! Lets go ACL #2.
We were in a food como and moving slow so showed up a little late to our meeting spot in the Plaza des Armas to meet back up with the group. But they were excited to see that Cristina and Adelino had joined us too and it was surprisingly comforting to have our whole little group back together again. us gringos took a tour through the catacombs to see the burial site of all of the franciscan Peruvian population from 1639 up until the mid 1800s ( that means we walked through a creepy church basement and looked at bones and were all completely grossed out). What better thing to fix a funk than do some shopping! And with 2 extra Peruvians to help us with our bargaining...we all went a little crazy. You're wlecome in advance family and friends, your gifts were purchsed for extra cheap :)
With our hand full and our wallets empty we made our way back to Pardos (Jays favorite place) and had a truly family dinner with the whole clan before having to say our goodbyes to Mama and Papa Conza and hitching taxis of our own.
Quick little facts: Keep and eye our for more guest blogs, I love spreading out the work(d)s and everyones getting really into contributing.
Don't be too sad we had to say goodbye to the Conzas because we get to go back anad spend all day with them again Thursday...and go to Gramma's 80th bday on Sunday! (Fun fact...Gandma Conza and I share THE SAME BIRTHDAY! Januray 13th is a great day to be born (thanks again mom))
Lots of the pictures attached to this blog aren't mine, but I haven't figured out how to add description.
I never mentioned Pisco, but he is our hostel guard dog and the naked looking creature on the couch with Jay. He's cuter once you get to know him.
Luigi (one of the hotel's employees) is going to give us a cooking class.
I'm obsessed with Lemon Grass Tea.
Ate is pronounced Ah-tay. The e should have an accent mark. I don't know how to add it from this blogger app.
Happy Monday! xoxo