The drive to the school brought back so many images I have in my head from travels in south east asia. As soon as we got out of Mireflores, the landscape completely changed. Instead of high rises, hotels, and the ocean...you see mostly unfinished concrete-block-stacked houses alternating with store fronts that are almost all convenient stores of some sort...
>>>>>Ok real time interruption: its 1:37 here, and we came back to the hostel for lunch. I came in my room to type up about this morning and in walks Jay with presents all wrapped and with a card and everything....FROM MY SISTER! aka superhuman aka genius, aka thepersonweallwishwasoursister.....well she is mine and she's the best!! and now I have crystalized ginger and dried mango and my very own swell bottle for the rest of my adventures :D ( now it makes sense why you were telling me to just bring a junky water bottle I could throw away, so sneaky) I love you and have officially immortalized you forever xoxoxox<<<<<
now i'm out of my writing mood. TBC....
ok, back. Pretty much where I think I was going before is thaat: Peru is beautiful, no doubt. And some of its beauty is in the areas that are pockets of wealth with very americanized structures and amenities that we tend to take for granted at home. Miraflores is one of those pockets. We are very safe here and its easy to be super comfortable because you don't feel like you are missing anything. But once you get out of the city, it's instantly uncomfortable. It's not that it's unsafe or ugly (although I have heard those words used), its just so very different, and beautiful in its own way. Dirt roads and no sidewalks. People everywhere outside their homes because really their homes are also their business/livelyhood. Kids running around literally in and across the streets. Builidngs with no real windows, only curtains hanging or boards of some sort. Clotheslines everywhere with laudry drying in the breeze. It's a third world country, and even though it doesnt seem so polished and organized, each person still has their system and their routines. And maybe it sounds surprising, but their routines are very similar to ours---just carried out a little differently.
Like school. So right now in Peru kids are on thier "summer break" until March. Because of this we get to see tons of kids and teens on a daily basis just being kids in and aroudn Miraflores and everywhere else we wander. But for our voluunteer work, this means we are assisting at a daycare/summer school program. The kids that come in range from 3-17. It's only been one day so we still are a little confused of the details of who comes and how/why, but from what we saw today, it seems like the 'scheduled' day is from 9-11:30. The little kids get to do a craft, have some free time with the toys at the center, eat snack, have some outdoor recess time, and then its already time to get picked up. The reality is that parents and kids started showing up around 8:15 and milled around outside since the classrooms were locked. The teacher came around 8:50 and set up the tables and chairs. Kids filtered in til about 9:15...some with parents or siblings that never ended up leaving (I kind of think that maybe 6 american strangers had something to do with this). The kids find it hilarious that we can't actually communicate. They don't care, or seem nearly as frustrated, over the fact we can't tell them to listen to the teacher and pay attention :)
The kids are all adorbale, and for the most part, very well behaved. The majority of them today were 4 and 5 years old and were so excited to have visitors. Morgan was getting lots of gifts at snack time from all the little boys who were fighting over who got to share with her. Lindsey and I attempted to learn the name of some animals, but the kids didn't seem too interested in trying to teach us. This is about to get sappy, but its seriously so rewarding and each time I caught a glimpse of one of our group members, I couldn't help but smile because you can just see how happy these kids were making everyone. Jesus and Luciano were my little shadows all day. Jesus informed me they were best friends, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't lying because they were inseperable all morning. I took out my phone at one point to get a picture of them, and now I'm pretty sure I have two new bffs. Just like any kid I'd find back home, they were iphone pros and found the only game i have on my phone in a matter of seconds. (Dear Wilson's, I think I might need to get some app suggestions for productive games!) They also managed to take some pretty amazing selfies. The guys had made their way nextdoor to the older kids room where English lessons were happening, and as much as I already love my little guys, I'm excited to see some teaching going on tomrrow.
The morning was pretty awesome, and the only downfall is that the time we get out is prime time lunch traffic apparantly, so our ride home was pretty long. And I'll save talking about the crazy drivers for another time, (close your eyes mom) but just know it's more thrilling than a roller coaster with the added bonus of no seatbelts....
We were back at the hostel for lunch around 1:00ish which is when we ate our second lisseth's-mamas-homecooked-food of a peruvian style stirfry with eggs and veggies and rice. bueno. This is also when jay delivered my sisters bday gifts <3 <3 <3 and then for the next couple hours we filmed and uploaded film for Abroaden's future website. Lindsey tried her best to motivate us all to go for a run, but instead we settled for a walk to the grocery store to start our mango hoarding. (for $5 i walked away with two massive mangoes, 2 avaocados, a box of tea, a massive water, and some espresso beans). We made our way back by dinner time LMHF meal #3 chicken in a veggie and onion sauce with rice and potatoes which is waiting for me in the fridge because I decided I needed a shower over dinner :)
For all those intrigued by hostels and their amenitites, this one ranks pretty high up in the cleanliness and efficiency department. They are communal but have been free anytime we've needed them and theres a really precious lady who I have already seen cleaning and restocking 2 times in our last day and a half. Warm water, toilet paper...hostel luxury.
Post shower and prepping for a night walk to find pisco sours (perus acclaimed natinal drink) Andres showed up and brought me a birthday bottle of wine!! And Peruvian wine. And a Malbec! So sweet, and amazing...thank you again, Andres! We found a place a couple blocks away in the defintely nightlife area of town where we cold sit down outside and get our drinks. I've had pisco before and haven't liked it, and couldn't be convinced by Jay that is would be way different and great since what I had def wasn't peruvian before, so I ordered a drink that had ginger as one of the ingredients and and wasn't disappointed :) There were enough pisco sours ont he table for me to try a sip, and even thogh I'll give it to Jay that it was beter than the one I had in the US, I still can't say that I really enjoyed it or would order one myself...but I also don't like sour mix, so I'm really not a fair critic.
We drank and chatted and debated over the maturity and life expectancy and responsibility of a 16 year old 300 yrs ago vs todays youth (yep, real convo) and took in the ocean breezes before calling it a night and walking our way back to the hostel. WHAT A DAY! Ending it now with the lovely last blurb to say 28 has started out great and I promise that tomorrows blog reall and truly will be shorter xoxo