Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

First Month

We have now been in Lima for just over a month! Wow.

I’ve learned three different combis that will take me to/from the university, and which one not to take because it takes almost twice as long.

I’ve learned where to buy groceries (the mercado, the supermercado, the gourmet supermercado, or the bioferia on Sundays), where to eat on campus, where to do my laundry (the laundromat two blocks from my house for 3 soles per kilo), where to get the best ice cream in Lima (near the mercado), some good and some not-so-good cafés and restaurants, etc.

I’ve learned how to get from the university to my volunteer work in Villa el Salvador, a 2-hour journey consisting of a combi, the metropolitano (bus that goes in a straight north-south line like a train), the alimentador of the metropolitano (another bus that extends its route), and two mototaxis (cute little 3-wheeled vehicles that drive people around the area).

The organization I’m volunteering with is called CEDED (Centro para el Desarrollo con Dignidad), or Building Dignity. One day a week I go there to tutor kids with any homework help they need. I’m also doing some marketing/communications work for CEDED, starting with their bi-monthly newsletters.

I’ve learned which professors start exactly on time, which one starts exactly 15 minutes late (and locks the door at minute 15!), and which one meanders in 20-40 minutes late.

I’m taking the two program classes (Peruvian Social Reality, and Advanced Spanish and Peruvian Culture), plus Legislation in Communications, Communications for Development: Theoretical Perspectives, and Ethnicity and Ethnic Minorities. The two communications classes are pretty much exactly as their titles would imply. They’re pretty tough, because they are taught in the Facultad de Comunicaciones meaning that they are fairly advanced classes and, of course, completely in Spanish. I’m almost the only gringa in both of them. Ethnicity and Ethnic Minorities is taught by the same professor who teaches Peruvian Social Reality (he’s great!) and focuses on Afro-Peruvians and other African-Latino-Americans, their history and current issues.

Fun fact for Spanish speakers: in Peru you don’t tomar un curso, you llevar un curso. Also, acá aquí.

I’ve discovered that instant coffee can actually be good (only in Peru).

I’ve heard this song more than is probably healthy.

I’ve eaten more potatoes than is probably healthy.

Oh, and I finally managed to pet a deer.

What a month!

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