Monday, May 31, 2010

Chinh's first two days in Peru

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Both of our flights (from OKC to Houston, Houston to Lima) were smooth. I sat between Kim, “Proomie,” and Lily, a Peruvian native from Lima. Kim and I had an opportunity to bond, and I practiced Spanish with Lily.

I didn’t want to sleep because I wanted to be able to sleep tonight. Plus, I managed to watch “When in Rome,” “Book of Eli” and “The Tooth Fairy” and read 12 magazines.

We had chicken pasta, a Caesar salad and Milano cookies on the flight. We were later given snack sandwiches and Kit Kat bars for a snack. I enjoyed airplane food, and I was very hungry.

Our plane landed around 11 p.m., but we did not get out of the airport until about 1 a.m. because of customs and the wait for everyone else. The Peruvians were nice and welcoming as soon as we stepped out of the plane. One woman had a 15-minute conversation with me completely in Spanish, and I actually understood most of everything she said.

We arrived to our host home around 1:30 a.m., and went to bed around 2:30 a.m. after packing. Jane, Carley, Kim and I are staying at the same host home as Dr. Kenney. It’s pretty nice to have him around to help us. Our host family consists of a man who owns a travel agency, his wife who is a dentist and two boys ages 7 and 4.

Our host home is five stories high with chairs and a hammock on rooftop. Imagine getting luggage up four tiny flights of stairs at 1 a.m. Let’s just say I’m sore…

Monday, May 31, 2010

Our host home has Internet, and our college campus has WIFI!

Kim and I woke up around 7 a.m. to get ready. I struggled to stay awake this morning because I slept a total of 6 hours the past two nights.

But I made it through orientation. Three students from OU who have been studying in Peru and other friendly Peruvians gave us advice. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

We learned how fancy Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) is because our lunch consisted of a reserved table, two private servers and a three-course meal. And we also learned it's not a wet campus because at every placemat was a "Pisco Sour" (Peru's version of a margarita with egg whites).

Our appetizer was a type of egg soufflĂ© with peppers, carrots and broccoli. Our entrĂ©e was rice, beef and fries (pappas fritas). Our desert was “tres leche” cake. It all was so delicious!

The campus is very beautiful--modern architecture with outdoor art!

After lunch, we visited Huaca Pucllana, Municipalidad de Miraflores, ancient ruins built in 1600 A.D. It was built as a place of worship, but got buried under dirt and wasn’t discovered again until the 1980s.

It’s amazing how ancient cultures were able to build such elaborate architecture without the use of technology such as bulldozers and electricity!

Next, we visited the Museo Larco, which showcases work of the pre-Columbian history. It was founded in 1926 by Peruvian archaeologist, Rafael Larco Hoyle. I’ve never seen so many artifacts. The museum is inside a vice-royal mansion of 18th century. Gorgeous scenery!

The we went to a shopping center, Wong, to buy water, personal hygiene products and snacks.

Our last event of today was dinner prepared by our host family. Dinner consisted of real mashed potatoes, rice and roast. I got to have rice dishes two nights in a row! Peruvian food is nothing like Mexican food, but just as (if not more) tasty!

I am going to shower and call it a night. What a great first Peruvian day it’s been!