Sunday, February 28, 2010

Leaving Lima

I've been gradually stepping down in luxury since my arrival in South America. As I mentioned in my first post, I got to sit first class (which also included a dish of warm nuts, which I forgot to mention). In Lima, I stayed in what is probably the nicest hostel in the world: HQ Villa (& it's cheap too: 5 bucks a night for a dorm bed including breakfast). Short of warming up my nuts, this hostel was just as cushy as first class.

Prettymuch everyone I met there spoke English, and the only chance I got to practice my Spanish was in taxis. On a few of the days, I found myself laying around all day in the comfort of the hostel, and then partying at night. I'm glad I got out of there when I did. Don't get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed my time at HQ Villa, it's just that after only a week there I was starting to feel like Robert Downey Jr.

So last Thursday, I left my friends in Lima behind and headed 3-4 hours south on a bus to Pisco. 2 years ago, there was an earthquake here that devastated the city. I'm volunteering with an organization called Pisco Sin Fronteras More on Pisco later. First, I'll tell you about my last few days in Lima, along with some other random thoughts.

It is quite humid here in South America, and my hair is getting out of hand. I'm starting to look like Little Richard, except white and without musical talent, so more like Kenny G. Just wait though, the white man jheri curl is gonna spread like wildfire starting the day I get back.

One night, a bunch of us went out to a dance club in Miraflores. While we were at the club, no one attempted to roofie me, which was nice, but at the same time it kind of hurt my feelings. I approached a few groups of girls off the bat and got immediately shot down, which reminded me of my glory days in Boulder. After strikes one and two, I found success with a few Peruvian ladies who were each about 4'9''. Being as tall as I am, I imagine this was quite an amusing scene to watch, perhaps similar to watching Shawn Bradley try to play defense.

I met a lot of cool people in Lima from all over the place. One guy from Australia works as a tour guide at a sewage treatment plant. Guy talks shit for a living! I thought: "Who would pay to look at shit?" but then I realized you get to smell it too, and it all made sense. Crazy Aussies!

Another person staying at the hostel, Ivan, is deaf and dumb, but he has visited over 70 countries! He was born in Peru and lived most of his life in England. A conversation with Ivan consists of a pen and pad or a computer.

Oh, we went back to the museum the next day, and I think our story of failure and perseverance inspired some people, because our group grew from 3 to 8. The aprehension of glorious redemption made it even worse, though, when we were told that most of the museum was still closed, and would be for six months. Could they not have told us that the day before? We did get to see a few exhibits: Some colorful dresses and vests, some ceramics, and a depressing but interesting photo exhibit about the Shining Path/Government conflict of a few decades ago. Better than nothing I guess...

A few photos from the museum:

Shining Path photo:

Maybe the coolest "exhibit" at the museum was the elevator of mirrors!

More about my time in Pisco so far coming soon!

1 comment:

  1. I had the luxury of touring a sewage treatment plant in Bellingham, WA. It was really quite a sight! I especially liked the 'grits' room. Chew your rice & corn, that's all I gotta say...

    Keep up with the posts! I am finding your writing style very entertaining. :-)