Across the Equator

South American Adventures

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Immersion Adventures
losmorris
Well here we are at our one month anniversary of having arrived in Lima! If the sun graces us with its presence, or heck even if it does not, we are going for a walk on the beach. It runs for miles so let's see how far we make it!

Random comments after a month:
- The traffic continues to be chaotic but we are beginning to see the rule set and order to the chaos. I have transformed from fearful in the taxis to being more than ready to get our car (still another month out) and take on the traffic myself. Being at the mercy of taxis for any long venture is getting old.....
- The weather really is gray by the coast most of the time and I feared that would be most depressive. Thankfully, the human spirit can acclimate to pretty much anything and I am getting used to it. Also, we are beginning to get some scattered sunny days and the beach view is spectacular with the sun. We have also found that we can find sun even on the grayest of days by going inland a piece (flip back to the need for our car comment!)
- How to keep busy..... This was a conversation I(Kathleen) had with many of you readers before leaving. What was I going to do while Richard was at the office. The answer - a lot! The embassy and its various affiliated organizations have lots of activities to both welcome newcomers and maintain community for all embassy folk.

- I have become part of a welfare committee charged with reviewing applications for funding and visiting sites of local non profits to determine the allocation of funds that are raised annually at an art sale. So far I have been out to visit a group headed by a retired doctor and retired nurse's aide who have formed a local version of a Ronald McDonald house, providing housing a food for families of cancer patients who are being treated by a nearby hospital. This organization has done so much with no steady source of funding and are currently housing an average of 40 people a day. Incredible...
- I regularly attend lunches put on by the CLO (community liaison office in real world speak) that provide tourism, shopping, history and other information and are intended to get family members together during the day. Through these I have met some marvelous people and now socialize in smaller group settings with many of them.
- In addition to social activities are, of course, the wifely chores of being available for the vast array of contractors visiting during those early weeks of moving into a new home. All worth while though as we now have local phone service, internet service, Vonage to chat with the folks back home (what a wonderful technology advancement!!), cable tv and satellite tv on the horizon. Our building is new so there are also items that have to be done to get it fully livable. AC is yet to be installed, curtains to be hung on some of the windows, etc. etc.

- Food is every bit as good as we had heard. The sauces are outstanding and I have become a Cebiche fan. Cebiche (or ceviche to gringos) is a "must try" for all visitors and I am doing my homework in checking out restaurants to introduce you future guests. So what does a vegetarian do? Well, I have found soy products and we are now probably eating as healthy as we ever have. Bananas, avocados and mangoes look like they have been grown on steroids and taste great! Olives are much more common and tasty as well, the challenge being that the taste exists as well in olive oil. We're still on the hunt for "regular old virgin olive oil". Our big challenge will be in training our "empleada" to convert to vegetarian cooking.
- The empleada challenge. Finding an employee to cook, clean and iron was not a problem. Unemployment and underemployment are a serious issue here and everyone has a referral of an individual who would be happy to do pretty much any kind of work. Fortunately, the embassy has a screening process as well as a training program to ensure that the empleadas are aware of safety, security and sanitation needs we gringos have. Delia starts to work for us on Monday and I will have the very real challenge of figuring out the balance between being fair and placing demands and requirements. Wish me luck!
- Richard's work - challenging, demanding and exhausting!
- Shopping - Wow..... the real challenge is going to be developing the discrimination in products, be it alpaca, textiles, pottery, you name it. The offerings are incredible and the settings range from an Indian market here in Miraflores to very upscale shopping centers. We have yet to be challenged with anything major that we cannot find here. Where we find it is sometimes a bit of a challenge! Who knew that toilet paper would be located in the makeup section rather than the paper products section of a super market?

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