The First 24 Hours of My New Life

Trip Start Jan 22, 2010
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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hello friends!! I know it has been a while since my last entry, so let me bring you up to speed. After two months of rambling around the U.S. (Dallas, Denver, Boulder, Lafayette, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Phoenix, and Atlanta) I arrived yesterday in Peru! For those of you that don't know, I will be in Lima for one month taking an intensive Spanish course, and then I depart for Trujillo (in the north of Peru), where I will be doing Economic Development and Microfinance work for a small non-profit called SKIP (Supporting Kids In Peru): http://www.skipperu.org/. Now to my first 24 hours...

I arrived in Miami with three hours to spare before my overnight flight to Lima (which surprisingly is only a 5 hour flight). So, naturally, I wandered into a beachy, Miami-themed airport bar. There I met Kevin, a Vail native who was on his way to Orlando for business. Kevin is married to a Columbian and spent an hour raving about Columbia and congratulating me on my non-profit endeavors in South America. And he bought my first two drinks...woohoo! When Kevin left, I had the pleasure of meeting J.P., a Puerto Rican who is married to a Haitian and lives in Miami. J.P. works for UPS and has traveled all over the world. He spent the hour elaborating on the woes in Haiti and discussing the monetary benefits of retiring in Puerto Rico. He was also pleased with my future plans in Peru and bought me my third drink...now I am three for three! :) During this time I also became friends with Oscar, a 20-year-old Cuban bartender at the bar. He allowed me to practice my Spanish with him and laughed at the guys coming in and buying me drinks. So after J.P. left, I bought a fourth drink for myself and tipped Oscar 50%. So far, this trip was turning out to be quite an adventure and I hadn't even left the United States yet!

The plane ride was relatively uneventful, and due to the alcohol in my system, I slept for much of it. When I arrived in Lima at 5:30am, the hostel was supposed to have arranged someone to pick me up at the airport. I searched around for someone holding a sign with my name on, but did not see anyone. Finally, an airport taxi driver called the hostel for me and told me that he would take me there. He acted as a tour guide the entire ride to Miraflores, the area of town where I would be staying. We drove along the ocean with the windows down and I soaked up the temperate climate and nice ocean breeze. As we entered the district of Miraflores, I was pleasantly greeted with tranquil parks, lots of trees, and cute boutique shops along the street. I instantly knew I was going to like staying here. To my greatest pleasure, I discovered that my hostel is only 3 blocks from the beach.

After a confusing conversation with the hostel receptionist in Spanish, I he showed me to my room. The hostel is extremely nice. It is kind of like living in a house, with about ten rooms, very clean bathrooms, and a kitchen complete with a stove, microwave, and fridge. At this point it was around 7:30am and I had an appointment to meet with the owner of a Spanish school at 8:30. I took a quick shower, had free bread, jam, coffee, and juice at my hostel (another perk of staying here!), and departed the hostel, map in hand, to find the Spanish school. It took about ten or fifteen minutes to walk there, and when I found the address, there were no signs indicating that it was anything other than someone's home. I stood outside the gate wondering what to do when a man came out and said, "Kimberly?". Yes! That's me! He guided me inside and, after discussing payment, he led me upstairs to take a placement test. I did horribly on it and realized that I did not know as much Spanish as I thought, but he let me start in the intermediate class anyways. The class has four students (myself, another American, and two Canadians) and we have two teachers. The first one teaches for the first two hours and we practice conversational Spanish and reading, and the second one teaches grammar for the second two hours. They were both extremely friendly and patient, and it didn't take me long to catch up to the other students. After class, I ignored my exhaustion and went to the supermarket to buy some things with which to stock the fridge. The supermarket was packed, I got a bit flustered, and ended up with some spaghetti, yogurt, and popcorn. You know, the essentials! When I got home I took a long nap and than began the daunting task of figuring out how to work the stove. After about one hour, I managed to have a nice meal of spaghetti and tomato sauce. I then chatted for a bit with an Ecuadorian girl who is staying at my hostel and then went to bed very early. 

It's a gorgeous day and I now I am off to check out the beach...
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Comments

Diane on

I can't believe you are "on the road" again. Sounds like you are off to a good start. We know you will soon be speaking the language like the natives. Thanks for keeping us in the loop. Always love your adventures.

Aunt Cheryl on

Was great seeing you at the wedding! I loved your travel gear and wish we had had time for you to explain it all to me. Your room is certainly a luxury compared to some of the ones you sent pictures of earlier. Don't get spoiled.
Have a great time. Via Con Dios! PS it will be snowing here in about 3 hours. YUCK!

Jukka on

Hey there! 8)
Great to see that you are already roaming again. We are stuck within this 5 feet of snow back at home.. Hoping to see you when we manage with our next trip to Usa, Canada and who knows where :)
Have a good one!

Stephanie on

Hi Kim,
I'm surprised you are on the road again, good luck and take care.

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