Saturday, March 25, 2006

watermelon gatorade

do we have watermelon gatorade in the united states? I tried it for the first time here and it is delicious! Anyway. I am in Lima, the capital of Peru. So far I really really like it. I was expecting the worst because everyone in Cusco says bad things about Lima. That it is dirty, dangerous, ugly... So I was pleasantly surprised by this big, bustling, beautiful city. It is such a refreshing change from Cusco. Cusco is small and beautiful, but also incredibly touristy. We are finally in a city that is just like, well, a city. Everyone is just going around doing their thing, not trying to sell us handicrafts or get us to eat in their trendy cafe. It´s nice. It is also on the coast, so it is warm and humid (which I have missed), and sunny. I sadly can´t go swimming in the ocean here due to the foot situation, but apparently I shouldn´t anyway because the part of the coast that we are near is incredibly polluted and choppy. I do have good news regarding my cast situation! I had it removed. Yep. I went to the doctor who put it on the day before we left for Lima (Thursday) and asked him if there was anyway I could get a walking cast instead. He said yes at first, and then told me that he has no idea where to get a walking cast in Cusco, and that no one uses them. Well. He told me he would cut it off anyway, and I told him to. It felt good to have my right foot liberated, but it also hurt still. My foot felt vunerable, and still unhealed. So I left the doctor with an ace bandage and my crutches, wondering if I made the right decision. We took a plane to Cusco yesterday, and arrived around 9:30 in the morning. We got situated in our swanky hotel, more like a house, called the Inka Wasi, run by this young guy who basically sits around and smokes pot all day and watches TV. I have no idea how he runs this cool place but he does, and it´s nice. We went out for a lunch of pure seafood, which was welcomed by all of us. Ceviche is the best, its raw fish that is cooked only in lemon juice. Delicioso. Halfway through lunch my foot starts hurting, and it increased to searing pain. By the time tears were running down my cheeks, Irma decided to take me to the hospital. I think most of the pain was due to my ace bandage being too tight (funny now, painful then) and I was given a shot. We talked to a doctor and he told me that yes, I could get a walking cast. Finally. So we went to an orthopedic store to check it out. I have never seen so many people with only one leg at one time. There were small children, adults, older people... it made me really happy and thankful that I have all of my parts working well, and reminded me that torn ligaments are nothing. So I am now sitting here with a massive black boot on my right foot. It has all of these buckles, think a large rollerblade, that´s what it looks like. It is really comfortable and most importantly REMOVABLE! Meaning I can shower and swim. Well still can´t swim here bc the beaches are rocky and not sand, but next week we are going to a nice beach and I can´t wait. Yess. I am supposed to still use crutches for the next 10 days, and then hopefully I can start walking on my cast. My goal is to be walking normally by the time we get back to Cusco in 2 and a half weeks. Wish me luck. Thankfully we have a wheelchair here so I have been travelling in style in the streets of Lima. Around the house and small distances crutches are fine, but for long distances I need the speed of my chair. It is really nice, but I still feel weird counting on people to push me, etc. Maybe I am just noticing now because I am in one, but there are a lot of people in wheelchairs here. Today we traveled around and saw the sights in Lima. We went to the Palacio de Govierno, it was pretty beautiful. I felt like I was on my eighth grade Washington D.C. trip all over again, but this was prettier. We also went to the Museum of the Inquisition, and saw torture chambers that the Spanish used. Scary. We then went to Chinatown and had a blast! Yummy chinese food lunch (Peruvian influenced and lots of fish), then looking around at all of the shops. We went to this hidden away shrine and lit incense and looking at chinese medicines, many illegal where we live. We tried to get something for the ligaments in my food, and the guy looked at us like we were crazy and asked if I wanted something to lose weight. Thanks sir. One thing that I like about most Peruvians (and what also took some getting used to,) is that they say it like it is. I have realized that we sugar coat a lot of things in regular conversation in the U.S., and tell a lot of white lies, usually to protect people´s feelings. At times I think that´s important, but I also like the straightforwardness in Peru. Anyway. We later had a class about the Chinese population in Peru in a chinese school. Very interesting, but also very hot and in a dim room and everyone was trying to not fall asleep. And here I am, about a block from our trendy hotel, in an internet cafe. Last night we had a class on the Afro Peruvian community in Lima, followed by a brief music and dance concert. It was great. Tonight we are going out for ice cream (apparently the best I will ever have...) and relaxing. Oh! Vanessa´s visit was so fun. We had lunch at home, and then later went out to San Blas to look around. We went to the amazing coca shop, and tried chocolates, toffees, and biscuits made with coca. Vanessa bought some chocolates and powder and apparently made it to the U.S. without any problems. It is so frustrating that we can´t bring coca leaves back home. It makes amazing tea, and has a bunch of other uses. There are obvious drug trafficking issues, but the amount of leaves a person would use for tea or cooking could not make cocaine. It is very frustrating, and coca rights are still being fought for here in Peru. Coca is such an important part of the traditional culture, and many people don´t recognize it. Stupid drug dealers. When we went to the island of Taquile, my host father was telling me about the importance of coca. He mentioned that he had a friend who brought him actual cocaine once, and how he tried it. It was so interesting hearing this from someone in such an isolated place. He had absolutely no stigma attached to taking the drug, and talked about it very openly. He didn´t like it, but he said it made him knit fast. Anyway... after the coca shop Vanessa and I went out for crepes at the German place, and then to the hooka bar. Our group had to go to the bar for a class. It was less of a class and more of an activity, listening to a rock group perform in Quechua. It was really good, and we all danced. And yes all includes me, in my former bright green cast. I was careful mom, don´t worry. Everyone was doing the cast dance, just like on Saved by the Bell when Screech and Lisa won the dance competiton! It was great. After the concert we went to a discoteca where a group was playing salsa music. We danced some more, I had to sit out a lot due to my foot, but it was fun. Random Quechua fact... Jaba the Hut speaks Quechua in Return of the Jedi. Yep! Some guys on the plane from Cusco to Lima told some people in my group, and the hotel that we are staying at happens to have a copy of the movie. We watched it, and it was mind blowing. We understood what Jabba was saying! It´s not a made up language! Unreal. Well I think that is it for now... We are going to be in Lima for a little over a week, and then we are making our way by bus to Arequipa, then Colca, and Nazca. We will be back in good old Cusco in a little less than three weeks. Expect updates later. Ciao!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya Kiddo,
I've been meaning to say hi for awhile and check in with you from afar. Isn't technology grand?

I see that you've been busy since you left. Sorry to hear about your foot, hopefully it will heal fast.

Peru looks awesome. Wish I was there with you!
It's raining and hailing today in NJ. Pretty gray and cool.

I send ya lots of luv and kisses!
Be well,
Love, Your Titi Cookie :0)

1:21 PM


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