Yes, it’s true. I only have nine more days of livin’ a loca Lima life before I take off… to Bolivia and Chile! I’ll write a bit about that at the end of next week.
Life has not slowed down in the slightest in the past two weeks, though the weather has cooled down quite a lot; the sky is always a bright gray now– sometimes we don’t see the sun for a day or two. It mists all night and in the early morning so the streets are shiny with water when my day gets started. I have to remind myself that IT DID NOT RAIN. 😦 Oh, how I miss the rain.
In typical Tamar style, here are a bunch of things I did/saw/thought about over the past few weeks. Be prepared for lots of food ramblings!
A weekend or so ago I went to a “biofería” (like an organic farmer’s market) and bought a gluten free bread loaf and goat cheese (and thus it begins), which I happily hoarded and munched on for a few days. After I visited the biofería, I was sitting on a bench watching a fountain when an older couple came over and joined me. A few minutes later we were having a nice conversation, and sharing some humitas they had just bought. The kindness of strangers. I encounter it all the time here, and it’s one of my favorite things about Peruvians.
Later that day I met Jessi in “el Centro de Lima”, the portion of the city originally founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535. The center of Lima is filled with colonial buildings: some painted, some cut from stone, and some covered in so much dust that you feel sorry for its poor clogged pores.
We wandered around for a while checking out all the churches, the government palace, the plazas, and finally, Monasterio San Francisco. This monastery was incredible. Besides having some creepy cool catacombs underneath it, the amount of devotion put into making this monastery absolutely gorgeous was palpable. Every surface was covered with beauty. Spanish tiled walls, geometrically carved wooden ceilings, grand murals, tiled hallways, an intricately carved wooden cupula above a beautiful staircase, garden-ed courtyards, and cobalt and gold and rose walls that filled in the spaces between all the tiles and paintings. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside (and I was too busy enjoying it to sneak any, Aba!) so you’ll have to imagine it for yourselves.
We have one more volunteering session left! There are a few kids I’ll really miss, one of whom is this kick-ass girlie below, named Luz. She is a wonderfully wacky ball of energy; she writes the word “fashión” above her name as part of her signature, and has taken it upon herself to learn the chorus to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” perfectly! I’ll show you a video of her singing when I get back 🙂
I’ve seen a few more shows in the past weeks! One was a tragicomedy called “Nunca Lluve en Lima,” which I mentioned two posts ago. It was okay… I didn’t particularly like the directing style. Very soap opera-y. But it was a great opportunity to practice my Spanish comprehension and make connections between various things I’ve learned. It was good that Camilla was there to fill in the blanks, though! The second show I saw was an afroperuano show called “Karibú.” It was a combination of music, dance, and storytelling, and was very educational for my foreigner-self about the identity and self-placement of afroperuvians in the greater historical and cultural fabric of Peruvian society (woah…where the heck did that intellectual tidbit come from?)
There is an incredible amount of cultural centers and theaters in Lima. I didn’t have the slightest clue as to the sheer amount of cultural opportunities that exist here when deciding to come to Lima. What’s neat about the live performance art I’m experiencing is that, from my perspective, none of it is “high art.” It’s created by Peruvians and deals with topics relevant to Peruvian audiences, and it’s not imported from abroad, like many of the other products Peruvians consume. And college theater students frequently act in shows around Lima- I’ve seen some of my classmates and university-mates in shows without even realizing it! Anyway, I guess part of what I’m trying to say is how wonderfully surprising it was to find an arts scene that is so alive, unpolished, and grounded in Peruvian identity when I had no such expectations!
To wind down, here are some street photos:
Here are some more food/funny face photos to close out the night (cause that’s what makes me happy):
Enma eating picarrones; fresh bread and cheese (Andean) and camu-camu juice and grilled plantain (Amazonian) from a market…
…a BEAUTIFULLY LAYERED mochacchino; some deliciously improvised flourless banana-peanut butter-oat cookies I made tonight.
A week of finals ahead of me, and I’m done! See yall on the other side. Thanks for continuing to read my popcorn-y writing.
P.S. The title photo is me with a bunch of girls from my dance class! From left to right: Ariana, Camila, Camila, Sarita, Ithaly, Reiko, Nicole, Yesennia, me.