Gettin’ Cozy :)
I am now beginning my fourth week here in Lima, and I can finally say that I’m starting to feel really comfortable with my day-to-day life! Weekly routines shall commence soon
CLASSES AT PUCP – TOO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM!
Last week, I spent each day touring classes that I thought I’d be interested in (and that I needed for my major requirements at Mizzou). My initial thought was to take the classes I did not want to take at Mizzou. However, after sitting through hours upon hours of classes, I have come to realize that the most important factor in choosing classes for me was to what extent I could understand the professor.
There were some professors who mumbled or spoke too softly, others who enjoyed giving monologues, and some that spoke so fast, I could not decipher where their sentences began and ended. I knew I found the right professors when 1. they included a PowerPoint presentation with class lecture, 2. they spoke loudly and at an even pace, and 3. made an effort to get to know me and pull me into class discussion. Fortunately, on registration day (which is basically a fight to the death with other international students who want the same classes as you), I was enrolled in my top choices! I will be taking Intercultural Communication and Ecology, as well as the mandatory IFSA Butler classes: Peruvian Social Reality and Reaction to Peruvian Culture.
WEEKENDS GET WEIRD
Eh, actually, not too weird. It’s pretty common for kids my age to spend every Friday from 12:00 am – 6:00 am at a night club (aka a “discoteca”) in the district of Barranco. The clubs here are just like the clubs in the U.S.; there are VIP lounges, waiting lists, no chairs or food, bright lights, large dance floors, expensive drinks, and creepy guys wanting to “dance” with you. When I went with the IFSA group, we saw an amazing live band perform for about an hour. The Peruvian music here is always so lively and puts me in a good mood! However, I prefer going to more intimate settings for fun, like a bar with a small dance floor. At these types of places, guys formally/courteously ask you to dance, and you actually dance as a pair! The formality really impressed me. It’s something I wish men in the U.S. had more guts to do!
DESERTS GET SWEETER AND SWEETER
I’m a HUGE desert person. I love candy, cakes, pies, and any other form of sugar you can imagine. So it’s no surprise to say that I go pretty crazy here when I see an ice cream shop (an “heladería”) on every other street corner. Geltao, frozen yogurt (Pinkberry), and traditional ice cream are the three forms I have seen thus far. Many of the traditional shops have specialty sculptures (works of art, in my opinion) that are pretty pricey. Even so, I had to split one with my friend. And because that wasn’t nearly enough sugar, we decided to split an order of churros (fried cinnamon-sugar bread sticks) with a cup of warm, melted chocolate. The only thing that I don’t like about sweets here is that nearly every candy bar is owned by Nestle, which is a U.S. company. I wish that Peru produced more of what they sell within their own country.
FUTURE CUISINES TO TRY
I hope to get a small taste of Alpaca and guinea pig, both dishes that are native to the highland areas of Peru. However, I think I’ll pass on the Afro-Peruvian cow heart, intestines, and blood…I have a feeling my digestive tract wouldn’t be able to handle such delicacies. I also want to try Peruvian versions of Brazilian cuisine. Chinese food (“chifa”) is really popular here, and in my opinion, better than the U.S. versions because not everything is deep-fried! It is also interesting to see Peruvian’s take on traditional U.S. foods. For example, there is a burger joint called “Bembos” that sells hamburgers. One type of burger they sell is called “The Italian,” which features a burger patty with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. There are many restaurants from the U.S. here, such as TGIF’s and Domino’s, but they all taste the same! However, the olives here are purple rather than green or black.
I am supposed to start volunteering at an NGO 6 hours each week starting next Monday. I want to give presentations to children about the importance of the environment and help them build sustainable community projects through La Red de Voluntariado Ambiental Juvenil (http://www.minam.gob.pe/educacion/ecozona-jovenes/voluntariado/). Nearly every NGO here involves working with children, so I know I will enjoy myself no matter which NGO I choose to volunteer with.
NEW PERUVIAN FRIENDS!
I have met some new Peruvian friends all on my own! Three are from a group project in my communication class, and the other two are from playing pickup soccer games on the university’s field! Fortunately for me, they all know English, so it’s easier to get to truly know their personality. I’m very excited to hang out with them outside of the university!!!
I shall post more later! Pictures of skateboarding dogs, delicious soup, and other random images from Peru are posted below, per usual