¡Bienvenidos a Perú!

Sunset from the plane

Welcome to Peru! Somehow, the trip here felt like an eternity even though I had a direct flight from Miami. I’m definitely happy that I didn’t have to come all the way from Pennsylvania in the same day… Instead, I flew to Florida a week ago, spent some time with family, and started adapting to warm weather (it’s summer in Peru!). Even without the additional flight from Philly to Miami, it was a long day. The flight from Miami to Lima, Peru is about 6 hours and then I had to go through immigration and customs. It was about midnight by the time we landed, so thankfully there were no lines and I probably got through everything and out of the airport in under half an hour.

Here’s Peru! Lima, the capital, is on the coast.

Someone from Esperanza de Ana met me there, and our connection went smoothly despite the fact that we didn’t know what each other looked like. We were counting on him recognizing me based on my clothes (which I tried to pretend wasn’t stressing me out at all). It all worked out though! See? No need to worry. I have to stop stressing about things that are beyond my control.

The view from the compound

The drive to Chilca (it’s on the coast, south of Lima) from the airport was about an hour and a half. I attempted to stay awake for the drive and failed pretty miserably. I did, however, stay awake long enough to decide that I also have no interest in driving in Peru (the same decision was made about Ghana within minutes of experiencing life on the road). From my initial impression, it seems that the lines on the road are considered more of suggestions than anything else. If, for example, you’re on a three-lane, divided highway and the road bends, you can just drive straight and use all three of the lanes rather than taking a turn as dramatic as the road’s bend. I can’t say that I’m a big fan of driving anyway so maybe this statement doesn’t mean much coming from me, but I am absolutely not going to be seeking out ways to drive while I’m here.

We got to Esperanza de Ana probably close to 2AM (my eyes were only half open at this point though, so I can’t be sure), and Jim and Tony Kay, the directors, met me at the gate and showed me to my room. Get this – I get my own room for the first month that I’m here! And after that, I only have to share with one person. AND they have flush toilets here. AND you can even flush toilet paper! AND there are hot showers! AND there’s cell reception! Are you overwhelmed by the luxury? I sure am (no sarcasm… I really am).

Our street

Today was a combination of attempting to get oriented and organized and recovered from staying up until 2:30AM last night (what has happened to me? I’m such an old person). Tony Kay and I sat down and went over some information to get me acclimated and up to speed on the organization, and the rest of the day was spent trying to put my things in order, taking a nap, and walking around the neighborhood just to get a sense of where I am.
I’ll talk more later about what I learned today, but for now, I’m off to bed!

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