Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna…
The weekend before this one I went on a day trip to Lomas de Lachay, which is a nature reserve pretty close to Lima. It´s sort of an oasis created by the geography of the hills and ocean, so it´s a really intense green area encircled by desert. We climbed up one of the hills and had a great view of part of the reserve, the desert, and the ocean in the distance. I was hoping to see some of the foxes and other animals that live in the reserve, but all we saw were a lot of birds and a little snake peeking out of his hole. Still it was a pleasant place to walk around in, and the air cleaned the grime of Lima out of our lungs.
On our way home from the reserve we stopped at a Hare Krishna community to take a tour. We saw the guest houses, which are made out of cow dung, and also the fields where they grow their own food (and fertilize it with cow dung). Also they had some cool demonstrations of solar water heaters and solar ovens. We went into the temple and saw some of the religious idols, learned the Hare Krishna mantra, and sung it with our guide, who played a drum they kept by the altar. It was cool to see the temple and how they live. I can see how living so simply would be attractive, but I don´t know about all of what they say…it´s very extreme. Also, one downside of the whole thing is that I walked around all that week singing “hare krishna, hare krishna, krishna krishna, hare hare” under my breath, driving me and everyone around me crazy.
In terms of other travelling-type stories, I don´t have much, but I´m trying to decide if I will go to Iquitos (the Amazon!) before I finish the study abroad in Peru program.. Also, I´m sure there will be more day trips to come and hopefully a couple overnight ventures to Trujillo and maybe Ica.
Tonight I watched the Vice Presidential debate at a bar here in Lima. It was a really strange experience because we walked in and it was like being back in the United States. Almost everyone there was speaking English, the TV was tuned to CNN, and there was all kinds of American sports memorabilia on the walls. It was bizarrely easy to fit right back into that atmosphere, and a little strange to walk out the door and into Peru again at the end. Aside from not being able to hear sometimes over the hisses and laughter, it was a good place to watch the debate, and it was fun to meet other Americans in Lima. I think it´s really interesting to see why and how people end up here and why some of them, like myself, come to study in Peru, and how there´s an instant bond that exists just because we happen to be from the same foreign country. I might go back for the second presidential debate in a couple weeks.
Tomorrow I have two clases and then it´s the weekend! I don´t have a lot planned, other than catching up on some schoolwork that I haven´t done this week, hopefully hanging out a little bit with my host family, and enjoying the sun that´s finally showing it´s face regularly here in my neighborhood!