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Despedidas - Goodbye to Peru
Ditch
losmorris
Despedirse (vr): to take one’s leave, to say good-bye. It is a good word and one we hear in its various conjugated forms constantly in our last weeks in Lima. The tradition here is to say farewell with Despedidas – or good-bye events. Lunches, parties, bowling dates, brunches – any form of farewell event is possible. Heck, we even had a Rock the Ditch party (more on that later…)!

So as our farewell to Lima let me share some of our sad good-byes and despedida fun.

June 20th - Our first despedida was the final get together of the outgoing board for USEA, the non profit activity I was involved in last year. As Heather heads to Mexico, Ana Maria to Washington, and me to Brazil we needed one final chance to talk, laugh and solve the problems of the world and appreciate Kristin's hospitality:



but farewells sometime include new arrivals, including Heather's new addition:


And then, as we got to within a month of departure the despedida season went into full force.

... including another USEA farewell from the new board of USEA, a great team that will produce a terrific Noche de Arte and charitable giving campaign for 2009:



I have truly enjoyed both the professional and the social aspects of working with USAID. Thus is it was hard to say goodbye to those with whom I have worked. As in all things however, my AID friends showed incredible class and offered up several individual and group despedida events,including the Controller's department and the full mission team:

Goodbyes included a lunch, with Pisco Sours of course, at a nearby social club:


Fond farewells from some of my co-workers:

and another chance to get together, one last time, for our controller's farewell. Cheers George!!



Some events are a little less formal or planned. In mid August we put together a neighborhood farewell dinner & bowling night - 4 of the Miraflores families, including us, are heading out of Lima so a night of Mexican food and Cosmic Bowling was in order:

Some of our Miraflores friends:

And more......

Now to work off the Peruvian/Mexican food with a strenuous bowling session where Brian cleaned our clocks! Wait for the re-match in D.C.



Saturday, August 29th - A sad good bye to our good friends and neighbors Brian and Ana Maria. They opened their recently cleaned out home for a final farewell and final opportunity to get all their food and beverages consumed.

Here we are with our good buds and neighbors, Ana and Brian. While this parting is sad we will be running into them shortly during our stays in the DC area. As we travel farther the world just gets smaller.


Liz, Andrea, their new arrivals and families. Lots of babies have been born during our stay in Lima, the circle keeps growing.

And what a fine group of Costa Verde ladies - Ana Maria, me and Doahn:

Sunday, August 30th - The final farewell in Miraflores. Our sponsee and co-worker/friend, Kathy opened up her house for a group farewell to departing embassy staff.

Yet another sad but fond farewell to friends and colleagues:



with a brief respite to watch the paragliders cruising outside.....





Rock the Ditch.... And finally, the big one. This requires a little bit of background.... Over our two years in Miraflores we (Ana, Brian, Richard and I) have bemoaned one feature of our assigned apartments. While so many housing units have fabulous straight on views of the Pacific, our primary "view feature" is the highway which runs just below our building through what we in the building lovingly refer to as "the Ditch". Our friends have heard our whining and could not let us leave without a final tribute to the Ditch. So our good friends through a Rock the Ditch party to celebrate a view that will now, no doubt, soften in memory.

The event included Ditch Art (who knew...?):

An avante garde rendition by Cait....

A stained glass/plastic rendition from Emily...

As well as a fun Ditch friend

A classy contribution with native, natural dyes from Mindy.....
A fun crayon composition from Cyntia....

And Amber's abstract contribution reflecting the noisy, grey environment that prevades our winters....

And finally, photo art with a "squirrelized" view of the Ditch:


But a farewell to Lima cannot stop at the Ditch. The event included a farewell touch to everyone's most hated feature of Lima - the traffic, including the taxis and combis that make it so bad.

Syllie provided original poetry providing "tribute" to the taxi drivers:



"To all the taxistas out there...
If you all disappeared, I'd not care
You turned this place known as the City of Kings Into the Municipalidad of ding-a-lings
For traffic rules care you not
The smog that you create make my lungs rot
Turning left by crossing four lanes
For you, signaling is too much of a pain
The bumper being held up by duct tape
Riding with you is like tempting fate
Why do you try to pick me up when I'm going the opposite way?
You make me want to go Clint and say, "Make my day."
The horns at obnoxious tones and decibels
Driving the roads with you is truly hell
And let me not get started on your combi brothers...
The angst you cause I cannot smother
When someone from L.A. says this traffic is god-awful
You'd better recognize that you are responsible
So for all the "Taxi! Taxi! Taxi, lady!" I hear in front of Larcomar
And all the aggravation I suffer in my car
For all the selfishness, smog, and noise you spew
From the bottom of my heart...
Chingate, pinche pendejo!"

Through the creative efforts of Steve and family we were provided a combi pinata to whack.


And a fond farewell to friends who have become so close and who we will miss greatly as we move on to our next posts. Farewell friends, you will always hold a special place in our hearts....









And, yes, the night did get just a little crazy but no one was hurt....

And who could forget the infamous soft drink of Peru? I think it is about 15 times sugar to one part water; never really got attached to it but I will miss the friendly yellow bottles...

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