Week 2 of Orientation
We just finished orientation, which means from now on it’s time to venture into real life in Lima (whoa!)
On Monday, we went to the university to learn about classes and registration. Then we returned to the office for a discussion of the Peruvian education system and “kursin wanouwan” (Cursing 101, a.k.a. how to respond if someone harrasses you on the street and how to know whether someone is insulting you or just being playful).
On Tuesday, we played games with our patas, in teams. The games included musical chairs, Twister, charades, a scavenger hunt in Miraflores, the spoon-egg-run, egg toss, and a game in which Lali (the directora) asked us questions and we had to run to our patas to answer the question first.
My team won! Our fabulous prize was a free ticket to Mistura, a gigantic food festival in Lima in early-mid September. I am beyond excited.
Then we went to Rustica, a local chain, for a buffet of Peruvian foods. Yum! It was Aileen’s birthday, so the waitstaff played a drum and sang happy birthday with us.
The next morning, the NGOs (ONGs en español) that we will have the chance to work with spoke to us about what they do and what we can do for them. The NGOs that came were CEDED/Building Dignity, La Casa de Panchita, La Semilla, and ADENAR (founded by Lali!). I think that I will work with either CEDED or La Semilla.
After the NGO presentations, we had a workshop about managing stress. That night, we went to the premiere of the movie “Viaje a Tombuctú”, written and directed by our Spanish class professor! It was a very enjoyable film, and although fictional it dealt with Peruvian history and the “Shining Path”.
Thursday was the course fair at PUCP, and that night we went on a Mirabus tour of Lima. It was lovely to see the city at night! We stopped at the Parque de la Reserva, a park near central Lima with lots of gorgeous fountains! The most exciting was the Fuente Laberinto del Ensueño, or Labyrinth Fountain, which sprays in varied patterns and the goal is to get to the center and back without getting wet!
Friday we had one-on-one meetings with Lali and Mama Laura to make sure that everything is going well with our host families and choosing classes, etc. Speaking of which, classes start Monday! I’m excited but of course it means getting back into the swing of school, homework, etc. Oh well. Although so far it has felt like a vacation, this is in fact a study abroad.
Friday I also bought an alpaca sweater from the craft fair in Parque Kennedy (a park very close to my house) and I love it! So warm and cozy
Saturday, a few of us went to the “Choco Museo” — a small chocolate museum (mainly a cafe and gift shop, but also gave information on cocoa, the chocolate-making process, and other such things). We sampled cacao tea, some pure handmade chocolate, and some choice items from the cafe. I had a mocha made from Peruvian coffee and Peruvian chocolate and a piece of torta de chocolate, chocolate cake. Others sampled their specialty hot chocolate, a chocolate chip cookie, and a chocolate alfajor. Alfajores are distinctly Peruvian cookies — two shortbread-like cookies sandwiched with manjar, a caramely paste very similar to dulce de leche. They’re divine, and with chocolate I’d venture to say that they’re even better! And of course I had to buy the tea, and a keychain with the picture from the movie “Chocolat” – it’s one of my favorites.
In other news, I’ve started keeping a list of “things I see on the streets of Lima”, and I can’t wait to share it with you all 😉 stay tuned!