Just Living That Study Abroad Life
I never think I would feel like this, but…I’m at a point where I think I’m in a bit of a standstill. It seems like there’s nothing new to look forward to, nothing new to explore, nothing to get excited about. I’m owing this to the fact that this past week was midterm week (spending hours in boredom, studying), but I also feel like this is a good sign – it shows that I am more comfortable with my surroundings than ever before. I have done quite a few new things since my last post, and when I stop and think about it, there are plenty of new things for me to do!
Things that I have done:
1. Cooking classes – IFSA offers cooking classes for students in the group every Monday night. This week, we made lomo saltado with arroz con leche for desert! Simply delicious. Google them 😉
2. Salsa dancing classes – every Friday afternoon, compliments of IFSA! I was pretty skeptical at first, seeing as I usually don’t like to dance and that I don’t have any rhythm whatsoever. However…we started off slow and repeated our steps, and thanks to our awesome teacher, I finally found my rhythm and began enjoying myself! I think I’ll continue to go each Friday for the rest of the month.
3. Spanish grammar workshop – These are taught every Friday morning by a tutor, again, with IFSA. It’s amazing how much grammar I didn’t even know that I had forgotten! I believe that spoken language is totally different from written language (for any language in general), so continuously practicing both is a necessity as an exchange student.
4. Chocolate-making classes, http://www.chocomuseo.com/english/our-locations/miraflores-per/ – I went to the Choco Museo with my friend and we learned about where coco beans originate, where they are distributed worldwide, and how they are made into different types of chocolate (dark, milk, white). Fun fact: did you know that cocoa beans absorb the scent/flavor of whatever plant is growing around them? For example, coco trees growing next to orange trees will actually have a slightly orange smell and taste to the beans when harvested! I had never thought of that possibility before.
5. Rode bikes on the Malecón (beach boardwalk) – I had not ridden a bike in quite some time, so it felt strange to ride again. But I had more fun than usual, and I didn’t realize why until I stopped to think about it – it has been two months since I have been in control of my own transportation (on wheels)! I never thought riding a bike could be such an empowering act!
6. Jazz Zone, http://www.jazzzoneperu.com/programacion/semanal – I went with a friend to listen to live jazz music at this small club in Miraflores. I usually don’t listen to jazz music, but I love live music in general, so I thought I’d give it a try – and I’m really glad that I did! The local musicians were really talented. I’ve realized that jazz is not easily listening for me – it is one of the few genres of music that actually makes me think, which is something I truly appreciate for a change.
7. Gringo indulgences – Let’s be honest, it’s really nice to indulge in your own culture every once in a while, even if it just means eating a simple meal. Because I was craving a substantial breakfast (something more than just bread and fruit) I took myself out pancakes and an omelet. It was worth it! Also, the weekend before this past weekend, I went with a few IFSA friends to see The Maze Runner in theaters. Indulging in entertainment from the U.S. is needed (for me) as well.
Things I still need to do:
– try a ton of new food! Korean, Japanese-Peruvian, Thai…and I still need to try Peru’s spin on Italian
– visit museums! I feel like there are at least five crucial museums in Lima that I have yet to come by
– go zip lining in Lunahuaná! 2.5 hours south of Lima,
– see a live play
– to go a karaoke bar!
– go bowling
The attached pictures are from my usual running route where I encounter a lot of amazing wall murals, or street art. I thought I’d focus on those in this post since I haven’t been on any crazy trips lately!