Estoy en Lima!!!
Hola todos!!! (Hello all!!!) I apologize for the delay in writing, the past few months have been uber stressful as I attempt to pack and get ready to live in Lima. Wellll lucky for me that day is finally here! Last night, March 2, I spent my first night in Lima. We stayed in The Place Hostal in Miraflores. Today, March 3, orientation began. I met with all of my fellow IFSA-Butler students and several of the patas or buddies. The patas are students of PUCP (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Peru) that help the IFSA students transfer into la vida limena (the Lima life). They provide a student perspective on all things Lima and have begun helping us learn the city.
I met my host family today as well. They are all amazingly nice and the house is beautiful. Both of my host parents understand that I am still learning Spanish and they speak slowly so that I can understand. Both of their children speak English, so when I stumble or need help with a word they can help. In the approximately 2 hours since I’ve been here, I’ve already started feeling natural here. They also have a dog, Yupi. Yupi is a 10 year old bichon frese. He is super cute and friendly. I’m glad that my host family has a dog because it helps me not miss my dogs so much.
Since I promised that this blog would be informational, I will give you a whirlwind of the things that I have learned so far concerning travel.
1. If this is going to be your first time flying, don’t be afraid to ask for help at the airport, from the IFSA staff prior to departure, from people you know who have flown before. The greatest blessing in my case was my dad’s friend who is a pilot. He was able to tell me the ins and outs of the airport before I stepped foot in it. Although it was still overwhelming, I at least had an idea of what to look for.
2. DON’T OVERPACK!!! Haha I didn’t take my own advice here which is why I’m writing it now. DO NOT DO IT. Seriously, I’m going to have to throw some things out if I plan on bringing souvenirs home (and I do). My bag on the way TO Lima weighed exactly 50 pounds and took both of my parents sitting on it to close it enough to be zipped. Packing to come home will be interesting. Don’t make the mistake that I did. Don’t overpack.
3. Get some local money a couple weeks prior to departure. I just went to my bank and asked for (x) amount of money in local currency and paid them the US dollar amount. In my case, the bank had to order the money, so make sure you give your bank plenty of time to get it in before you leave.
4. Insurance is a sink hole. Its also really awesome, but if you’re like me and (TMI ahead –>) you need birth control for an entire semester, they are going to do everything in their power to screw you over. So go into it knowing that you might not get the full prescription because insurance decides not to cover it. And its not just birth control. Any prescription drug that you have to take on a regular basis, I’m sure would be equally frustrating to get a hold of.
4a. Now the other option is to have your parent/guardian/trusted friend send you your prescription monthly via snail mail. However, as the name suggests, that mail is snail-y and getting packages across international borders sometimes takes even longer, so keep that in mind if that is the path you want to take.
4b. Some insurance companies will also not cover travel immunizations. Prepare to pay for those out of pocket (and in the case of Illinois) up front.
That is all I have for today, folks. I’ll be checking in again hopefully soon. Until next time, adios!!