Monday, August 11, 2008

Arrival in Peru

ok, sooo first day info. here it goes. today, i unpacked, organized my room, got a better tour of the place where i'm staying. met the owner's wife, fiorella, who is WONDERFUL! she's so sweet. she has a five year old and she's pregnant with another, due in december. there are about 10? people living here right now, i haven't met any of them...yet. some haven't arrived yet, but they are coming in the next couple of weeks.

abby came over around 3 and we went to a mini market close to my place and bought some food cause i hadn't eaten yet at that point. i had lunch/breakfast and then we head out to find a certain supermarket so we could get some shampoo, conditioner, milk and other things that weren't' at the mini mart. well, we were told to take this form of transportation called a 'combi' so we stood on the street corner at the stop and asked a lady how to get to the market we were looking for. she flagged down a combi and told it where to drop us off. combi, we learned, is a miniature full sized van...if that makes sense. *think full sized van look only smaller proportions*. this thing is sooo shady looking! it was awesome! we cram into this van with another 10+ people and it costs 1 sole, which is about 35 cents, and they take off before you even get a chance to sit down. sink or swim, baby. anyhow, they take off and swerve through traffic, slamming on the breaks and throwing open the sliding door any time they see an interested customer on the side of the road-just hope to God they are on the same side as the combi, or else we're doing a major lane change on the fly. when it's your turn to get off, you go and go quickly, cause they're doing their thing as fast as possible. soooo, we jump out and look around, not seeing the supermarket and without a clear idea of where we are. we decide to follow the crowds and walk straight ahead. we walked for a couple blocks, with a map in hand might i add, looking for this so-called supermarket. we decide to ask someone and they say, "oh yeah, it's straight ahead, keep walking". well, we walk a little further with no luck and i suggest that we ask another two people to cross-reference our directions (brazil taught me that people tend to give directions, even when they have no earthly clue where you need to be going). of course, the next two people (independently asked) each gave us different directions. thanks guys. we finally saw a hotel and stopped there to ask directions.

the lady said that she didn't know the market we were looking for, but there was another close by. we went to that one, picked out some stuff, were heading for the checkout line when i realized that it was going to be a pain in the a** to carry all of that stuff home. crap! i contemplated putting it all back and nixing the whole idea until i got better accustomed to things, but i really needed some of the stuff. we decided to bring it all back to abby's place, so i could see where she lived, and then we would find a way to get it back to mine. not having a car is really annoying when you're wanting to bring stuff home. soooo, we started walking to find our way to abby's. wait a sec, we don't know where we are. we can't find the roads, really, on the map and things are just not adding up. well, after asking about 4 people, we finally discover that we aren't in abby's neighborhood (San Isidro), like we previously thought, but are actually in the neighboring one (Miraflores) and it's now dark and not a good idea to walk all the way back. crap! we find an extremely nice lady who explains it all to us after much confusion and then flags down a taxi and speaks with the driver. i heard her speaking to him and was really glad when one of the first things out of her mouth was "you better not overcharge these girls. how much will you take to bring them to...yadda yadda yadda". haha, sooo in the end, we took a taxi back to abby's for 6 soles= about 2 dollars.

we got to abby's and spent the rest of the night talking with her host family. they're really great, but man do they loooove to talk. i spaced quite a few times, don't tell. they're really sweet, though. the mom insisted on driving me home because she didn't want me to get lost. thanks! aaand, here i am. just got home and am exhausted. i can't wait to sleep. busy day, more planned for tomorrow.

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