Laughed my Heart out in Colorful Peru
My first week in Lima, Peru has been pretty wonderful. It consisted of a lot of walking, several sight-seeing opportunities, new helpful friends, (more) Spanish, laughable memories, and delicious food (I have yet to be disappointed.*knock on wood*). This week (June 15-19) I did several things and experienced different parts of Lima, but I’d like to focus on two days where I had the most fun.
The first day in Miraflores, I met some pretty cool people. I met the “Patas”. They are students from “La Cato”. It is super short for Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). This university is what I will call my own for six months. The patas probably don’t know right now, but they will soon become my best Peruvian friends. These awesome people took me and my two other study abroad friends, Arely and Cassandra, for a walk down the coast of Lima towards the “Parque del amor” (Park of Love). I absolutely loved it! Beautiful heart felt quotes scattered on a colorful mosaic tiled wall created the space for a giant clay colored statue of a couple, I assume, who were deeply and utterly in love. Needless to say, I was pretty jealous of the happy young couples that crowded the park. As a hopeless romantic, I had a pleasant time walking around the park, looking at the quotes, and reading them aloud in Spanish. I recommend visiting this park whether you are single, taken, or in a “it’s complicated” kind of relationship. It’s a lovely park, but its beauty would be better understood if you know how to read Spanish, so just a heads up!
Next, fast forward to the start of the weekend (Friday), and I’ll tell you the wonderful time I had. I had just finished a 4 hour class at “La Cato”. After class, we were on our way to the public bus stop to head home. It’s about 8pm and its dark out. The bus stop is filled with a long line of chatty students waiting for taxis, buses, and combis to pick them up. “Is this our bus?”, I kept asking Gianfranco. Poor guy, he was one of the patas, and today he was going to help us get on the bus and take us home. We had no idea what color bus we were waiting for and I for sure did not know where I was supposed to get off. We finally get on and its smooth sailing from there, that is until we get off the second bus to walk Cassandra to her host family’s home. After getting her safely to her home, we start our walk towards our final bus ride, but after walking for a bit, we decide to get home by walking. Our homes were not far at all. It wouldn’t hurt to save a sol or too, and it sure wouldn’t hurt to get some extra steps added to my Fitbit. So here we go walking around Miraflores. We cross several streets. We turn several corners. I keep thinking to myself, “how much longer”? Before crossing another street filled with zooming cars, Gianfranco checks his phone. In Spanish with a hint of laughter, he tells us we had gone the opposite way of where home was supposed to be. I couldn’t believe it. Arely, Gianfranco, and I laughed with ridiculous disbelief. Our feet were tired, but we stubbornly continued on the trek home. After what seemed forever, we were in a place in town that I remembered. The streets were lined with plenty of brightly lit restaurants and clothing stores. The streets were crowded with bustling people who were having a joyous time, after all, it was a Friday night. “Hey guys, have you tried any churros here, in Peru,” Gianfranco commented. Arely and I looked at each other and knew right away, we were about to award ourselves with some golden brown chocolate and dulce de leche filled churros. We crossed yet another street and eagerly handed our soles for well-deserved churros. Although I’m Mexican, I haven’t had many churro experience, but these were by far the best! The churro did wonders. My feet were sore and tired, but I was a happy girl with a warm, gooey churro in one hand, a huge smile on my face, and a stomach cramp from all the laughing from that night.
So you see, even if you are thousands of miles away in a foreign country, and feeling lost or actually lost, just remember to embrace the moment and enjoy the opportunity. I had fun because I has people to enjoy it with, and so far I would not change a thing. I am excited to see what the next week brings!