Thursday, September 08, 2005

Where on earth am I?

Try to find the tiny yellow dot.
A little closer.
Yes, Peru is no different than the rest of the world in its love of bone design in their catacombs. However, I always assumed that the designs were as old as the bones; these bones were recently arranged recently by the curators.
Also in the Church of San Francisco in Central Lima. A a terrible photo of a fantastic version of the Last Supper. The Peruvian specialty, cuy (guinea pig) is the main course. (Another great detail: the devil whispering in Judas' ear.)
The coastline looking south from Miraflores. I'm living a few blocks from the water right now. Only been running once so far. Too much to do in a day!
I visited San Francisco my second day in Peru, and needless to say my Spanish was (is) non -existent. I understood that this handless woman had killed a king who had betrayed his country or lover (who knows) and then had her hands chopped off. The guide actually said that the wooden hands were in storage.
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Better pictures to come. With my bare bones language skills and knowledge of the city, I've been hesitant to carry my camera around.

Pisco, a locally produced white-grape brandy is blended with lemon juice, ice, egg white, sugar and topped with bitters to make the national cocktail, pisco sour. Little did I know that the two servings I imbibed at the "best" place in the city (brought there by Peruvians) was a recipe for allowing my GI tract to be recolonized entirely by Peruvian flora. I feel hardier after what I'm sure is only my first bought of the Peruvian stomach flu.

With the linguistic help of Anna and Matt (the Fulbright couple across the hall), Felicia and Sean (Felicia is a Fogarty Fellow with Washington U) and Sister Patricia (a dear friend of the Ellis family) I've been apartment hunting and found my next abode. I've been staying in the apartment of a friend of my brothers' - Luis' generosity made my landing in Lima a lot less rocky than it might have been.

I'm taking language classes in the mornings and spending days in the parasitology lab with fecal samples. I've seen and smelled things I'd only read about. The Peruvians in the lab have also been my best language teachers. Great people!

I went to my first ultimate frisbee game in Lima on Sunday with a mixed group of international expats and Peruvians. Can't say I represented the New York City central park public league well after being layed out by the pisco sour, but I'll be back.

I'm moving Sunday to a house four blocks from my present location with 6 Peruvian woman from ages 23-72 all vaguely related. It's a pretty unique arrangement. I'll have my own private and very nice bedroom and bath, but shared spaces in the rest of the beautiful house. I'm going to test it out for three weeks, after which I'll either stay or move into one of the apartments I found. I felt something great when I stepped into the house, so I figured it was worth trying in spite of the sacrifice of having entirely my own personal space.

I have Skype and great internet access until at least Sunday = free phone calls. When my parents and I got it working, it was like discovering fire. It has revolutionized our ability to communicate.

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