Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Jaen, Peru: Arriving in Lima

Posted in Peru on October 1, 2011

The Kamloops volunteers' alarms rang around 4am, and we collectively jumped out of bed to greet this new adventure! Well, maybe that's not quite the case, because I was still doing last minute packing a little after midnight. All eleven volunteers are taking various routes to our destination: the Bayview hotel in the Miraflores area of Lima, which is close to la playa ( the beach), various parks and walkways. Lima is only two hours ahead of Canada's west coast, but culturally distant in that Peru is a predominantly Spanish speaking country and steeped in history as old as the Pyramids.

After flying to Toronto, it was a very relaxing flight to Lima. Arriving late, we were met by the Bayview van- it is always a good feeling to see a sign that says "Developing World Connections", an instant connection to the country which we will all come to know better over the course of two weeks. We arrived mysteriously short two volunteers, despite phone calls to our accommodation. Their whereabouts were unknown until we found out later that evening when we arrived at our hotel that they were unavoidably delayed in Huston, Texas and will join us later. Michele, our emergency contact at DWC in Kamloops, relayed a message via email that the two were safe and looking forward to joining us as soon as possible.

October 1st, we spent a relaxing day wandering the streets of Lima. We saw the changing of the guard at the royal palace, marvelled at the Baroque and classical architecture, stopped to gawk at massive 18th century doors, and wandered in underground catacombs, complete with the mortal remains of centuries of monks and saints. Lima is a vibrant city with very clean streets and parks. Many couples arm-in-arm, and people scurrying to and fro along the numerous pedestrians only streets, a feature many would be envious of in cities like Vancouver and Toronto.

The weather is perfect, not too warm, or too hot. We quickly decompressed down to the unhurried pace of the Peruvian. English is rare in this part of the world, but we walked, discussed, laughed, and walked some more, then we ate. We had to ask some of the patrons what they would recommend, then with taste buds watering, we enjoyed ethnic diversity. In the evening, we walked the warm night streets, bustling with families and the rest of the smiling populace, feeling safe and serene, and then walked up a flight of stairs to mouth-watering fare at the Bircher Benner Fina Cocina.

We are up early, packed and away to Chiclayo tomorrow.

Cam Grant
DWC Team Leader
Jaen, Peru: October 2011

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