Lima. It’s a place I knew I could call home ever since I lived with my Peruvian sisters in Madrid. But I didn’t realize just how much I’d feel at home there.
I arrived after my marathon bus ride from Yauya. My friend, Gigi, had a crazy day of running around to finish things and as a result of some delays and traffic, she was quite far away when I arrived. So I walked a bit and took the Metropolitano, a metro bus system similar to what I saw in Cali, Bogota, and Quito. It’s a bit unsafe though, so I was under strict instructions not to talk to anyone (my accent makes me a great target on top of the fact that I had both backpacks on me in the middle of 6pm rush hour).
It was fine and I arrived at the station. Of course, I asked for help in buying the card used to ride the system, whether I had to travel north or south, and where the Starbucks was once I arrived at my destination since that’s where I was meeting my friend. Everything was fine and it was great to see her so many months after we met up in Mexico City.
Beach And Sunset
On the first day we went to lunch at a really nice buffet restaurant next to the ocean. Beautiful views, beautiful company, and amazing Peruvian food. What could be better?
During lunch I also received a call and everything was confirmed for my speech at Centrum Business School.
After lunch we went to the malecon/boardwalk along the Pacific Ocean to get some views of Lima and enjoy the perfect weather.
We also took in a beautiful sunset while walking and exploring the various parks next to the Pacific Ocean in Miraflores.
Gigi, her husband, and I also explored Lima’s center. It has a lot of character even though it’s all white. I got to see it during the day and at night. The lighting at nice is very nice.
There is a Chinatown in Lima, which was really interesting. We ate at a Chifa there. Chifas are restaurants that have Chinese food infused with Peruvian influence. We ordered a huge meal that was amazing and kept me fed for several days afterward in leftovers!
There were many Peruvians at my business school and I got to know lots of them thanks to my awesome roommates. When Gigi and I were in Mexico City, we tried to meet up with our colleagues there one night. But, apparently, they had better things to do.
In Lima I knew this wouldn’t happen and it was just a truly spectacular night. Everyone is doing well, some weddings were being planned, and it was just a ton of fun. By chance, Danielle, my friend from Houston, was also in town. The more the merrier!
Everyone kept commenting how different I look. Some said it was my hair, others say I just look happier, more relaxed, more content. Either way, it was great to see that we had all changed quite a bit from our December 2009 graduation – all for the better.
Some Peruvian families get together for a big lunch on Sundays to enjoy each other’s company. I was lucky enough to experience this with Gigi’s husband’s family. Spectacular!
You can see my friends, the food, and the gigantic Peruvian corn kernels below!
This family in particular loves music. Unfortunately we had to leave to head to the airport early in the afternoon, but apparently they are happy singing all afternoon and night after this huge lunch. It’s the simple things in life that offer the most pleasure, and this was just awesome. One guitar, one Peruvian drum box, and a singer. What more do you need?
After the airport we met up with Gigi’s mom and grandma and we had a great time together. I got to see Gigi’s university. It kind of happened by accident, which was cool. All my roommates from Spain know of my love for Ohio State and you can be sure if they ever visit me in Ohio they will be serenaded with Ohio State awesomeness in Columbus 🙂
We also went to a juice place and I tried a juice made of lucuma. I still don’t know what this fruit looks like, but it was described to me as having a coffee flavor. Totally right and so good!
I called my friend Javier “mi salvador/my savior” in Peru. He just went above and beyond the call of duty to maximize the awesomeness of my stay in Peru.
Javier also set up my speech at Centrum Business School via the wife of his cousin who works there.
He was always available by phone and email and really helped make my time in Peru amazing so far. For that I am grateful.
By chance, Eli, my first couchsurfing host on the Happy Nomad Tour from San Luis Potosi got in touch when she saw I was in Lima. She connected me with her friend, a journalist with newspaper El Comercio.
We had a coffee one morning and had a great discussion. Tons of fun. When I get back to Lima in May before flying to the U.S., she’ll interview me for the newspaper about my experience in Peru!
There were also some gatherings at night, breakfasts, and generally a lot of time spent with awesome people.
I left Lima quite sad, actually. I had a wonderful time and I wasn’t ready for it to end. I’ll be back in 4-5 weeks, which I’m really looking forward to. And with sunsets and colorful scenes like this, on top of amazing people, how could you not look forward to going back?