Thursday, March 27, 2014

Peru: Day Two - Part Three

I hope no one is getting too terribly bored with all of these posts (though, I guess if they are bored, they don't have to read). I'm really enjoying writing about the trip, and when I print my blog book I can have the experience forever (I'm not so good at the journaling). Also, I think it's good that I've waited a while to write about it. When I first got home, I was mostly thinking about how grateful I was for hot showers and being able to drink tap water. Now that it's been a while, I'm able to look back at what a wonderful experience it is. I would so go back, provided I had access to hot showers...that was really rough.

So after our visit way up the hill, we headed to visit another family at the bottom of the hill. We walked down, down, down, and down some more. The city, somehow, was just so charming. I can't even describe why it was charming; it just was. Once we got to the bottom of the hill, we walked along the railroad in a very poor part of town. Here, the houses were in one solid row that went on as far as you could see. They all shared walls. Some had actual roofs, but a lot of them only had corrugated metal for roofs.

We walked on the ends of railroad ties as the sun set (and walked faster so we could get to our destination before dark). There were children playing in front of their houses, and people out talking to each other. It really was so beautiful. We reached the family Bergs wanted to visit, and they pulled us in to sit for a visit. The mother sent the children to buy a bottle of Pepsi, and we talked (well, they talked; I listened and picked out a word here and there).

After the visit, the mother escorted us closer to the city center. On the way, we met her husband, which Bergs was really excited about. After we chatted for a while, we continued up the hill (in a moto-taxi - that's when I took the picture that was in the last post) and walked through a beautiful park. There was a pond in the center with a statue, and a raised and covered walkway around it. The statue was a goddess (I believe), and I thought about taking a picture but she was quite naked. It was lovely, and the park was wonderful. So many people walking around or sitting at benches. Bergs pointed out the church house across the street that she went to when she served there.

After walking through the park, we crossed the street and entered a beautiful plaza which led up to a giant statue of Christ. There were fountains with colored lights leading up the block to the statue, which was on top of several layers of waterfalls. We stood around and waited for the statue and waterfalls to light up, as the sunset was still fairly recent. Eventually, the statue lit up, but the waterfalls never did. It was still really cool to see.

We then decided that we needed some food, so we headed to Roky's. There are a lot of chicken places in Peru, and a lot of them have names that sound a lot like Roky's. We ordered bottled water (specifically asking for non-carbonated), I got pollo a la brasa (chicken), and Bergs got cow hearts on shish-kabob (I forgot to write down the Spanish name). The food was amazing! We sat at a window and watched people on the street below, which was fun. And here are pictures!

Full of lovely dinner, we found ourselves a hostel and got some shut-eye. Thus ended day two.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Peru: Day Two - Part Two

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost two months since the last time I blogged! Holy smokes.

So back to Peru! After Chaclacayo, we hopped on a bus to Chosica. This is where I really had to chance to see the houses. We took a moto-taxi up a very steep dirt road.

- Oh moto taxis! So fantastic. Think of a rickshaw, but a motorcycle instead of a bicycle, and surrounded by metal like a car. I loved them. This isn't a great picture, but it was the best I managed to get. They move so fast! And this is a pretty good example of traffic there.

So anyway, we went up this steep hill to visit some of Bergs' friends, and I noticed that A) houses were stacked up on top of each other, and B) the houses are built clear up the mountain. In some places, there weren't roads or staircases to get up to the houses up on the hill. Another thing I noticed in Chosica is that there are dogs everywhere! Just wandering the streets. The weird thing was that they all looked so tame. They didn't look gross, and they just laid around on the sidewalk. It was so odd.

While talking to the first family, I heard a bunch of screeches, yells, and other alarming noises coming from the other room. I thought that maybe there was an unhappy child hanging out in the background, but eventually one of the family members went into the room and brought back...a parrot.

Some of you may know that I get a little nervous around birds. I don't like it when they get too close, in case they're planning on poking out my eyes or nipping at my ankles. *Shudder* I tried to keep my cool, but the bird was just hanging out and suddenly flew towards the window, which was right behind me! My reflexes kicked in, and I squealed and ducked. Bergs and the family thought it was hilarious, of course, and the kid holding the parrot kept getting it riled up to see my reaction. It was sort of unpleasant.

The family, though, was lovely and so friendly. Everyone we visited gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek, even though they didn't know me and I wasn't even able to speak to them. It was so amazing to feel so much love from perfect strangers.

While visiting this family, I experienced something new for the very first time: the lack of a toilet seat. It was a little disconcerting, but I was determined to roll with anything that Peru sent my way. Later, when I asked Bergs about it, she told me that in Peru, if you are not poor, you have a toilet. If you are rich, you have a toilet seat.

Turns out day two will have to have three parts. The next one has lots of pictures, I promise!

Thanks for reading.