Hola, estoy in Peru. I am writing from the little computer corner we have in "Hotel Country," which seems more like a house than anything, since we take up half of the rooms, there are living rooms, and the roof, well there isn´t really one over the common area.
My stomach hurts. The only questionable thing I ate was in Lima, ceviche, raw fish marinated for a long time in a lime-garlic mixture. Not used to raw meat, even if it´s clean of bacteria .Oh, and I tried some Inca Kola on the plane and wondered how anyone over the age of 13 could stomach more than a few sips of the radioactive-looking soda. Saw one llama though on the way to church. We take taxis to most places not walking distance and they are crazy: you think you could die each time they swerve from a car/pedestrian/dog/speed bumps, but very few accidents occur on the road. Unlike at UT, pedestrians definitely have no right of way.
The Presbyterian church in Trujillo looks sort of like a castle made of large concrete stones and a flat, wooden roof. We will be laboring on the clinic on the lot next to it, which is currently uneven, sandy and empty. The mountains are a welcome change of scenery for sure, although we will not be able to traverse one this time.
I love our group! It has bonded pretty well so far and I´ve gotten to chat with and get to know better some acquaintences, such as David Breeding, Michelle Lafitte and Jill Waters, not to mention most of the A&M folks. They´re an eclectic bunch, like us, I suppose, but different too. The real test will start tomorrow, when we all sweat and toil together. Also, it was weird to kiss so many people on the cheek when the congregation greeted us this morning with a welcome song.
Visited the English Language Institute today as well and enjoyed the 3 story office building. The classrooms are pretty small, each consisting of about 15 chairs, and there are maybe 6 total. The view from the windows are great, you can see all the bustle going on out on the major roads intersecting. We gave them our books, ranging from multiple copies of To Kill A Mockingbird to a Jeannie Oakes love story (anyone else know who she is?). Their bookshelf used to be 1/4th full, but now it should be looking much better.
Life and the city here reminds me a lot of Reynosa, Mexico. There wasn´t much culture shock when I stepped out of the plane into some very humid weather, but I cannot imagine living here either. Please bonk me on the head, because it most likely has something to do with the poverty level of the area and contrasting (to the US, Austin, Dallas) unkempt environment. But it feels great outside, highs and lows in the 70's. Can´t complain about that. Well, I suppose I must try to go to my cardboard-stiff bed now, since breakfast is at 7 manana and I don´t want to miss the hot water + espresso = coffee and the fresh oj (have seen or had any concentrate juice yet. why would they even want to try?). As of now, I am glad that I am in Peru and didn´t stupidly back out the last few days because of cold feet. ¡Buenas noches!