I've become really fond of using spanglish. Its the lazy man's language really because you just say whatever comes to mind, whether may be the english or spanish palabra.. err.. word. See! I think it means I'm learning. Not to be confused with easy though, because its not. My brain is tired of trying and some days I just know I'll never get any better. My fluent roommate Chelsie says that progress is hard to track because one day you just realize "Hey, I understood most of that" and I'm really hoping I get there.
|Perdon, sorry to wake you, Cuanto cuesta por la bolsa?|
So! what does life look like in Peru? Let me start with the driving. Everybody here takes taxis for the most part, and they are terrifying. The kind of ride where you definitely should wear a seatbelt, but there's no way you want to strap yourself down in case of emergency. Its getting easier to just trust that I'll make it to my destination *fingers crossed* alive. The money here is another conundrum, i still call it monopoly money. It just doesn't seem real yet. The conversion is definitely to my advantage, the US dollar carrying much further than the Peruvian sole. Making shopping more fun. Alpaca stuff in every shape and size, from head to toe, walls to rugs. and I wish you could feel it! Its so suave!! err... soft. Granted, without income, it still could easily add up quickly. The markets and street vendors have so many things for tourists! And I am a total sucker for souvenirs. Check out this vendor in the local artesian market... look closely.
|Never seen corn like this!|
The food! I've spotted several displays that i recognize at first as a fried object in the shape of a rodent. Oh that's just chuy, or fried guinea pig to the less adapted human. They eat mostly carbs, lots of bread and I've never seen corn as big before! My host mom is a phenomenal cook and I have really enjoyed the food! All peruvian wine tends to be.. more like juice. Like the kind on sunday mornings you sip and look around and think "this is wine. no this is juice. no wine. no really old juice." But I'm so thankful that the host family makes all our meals and I've felt to welcomed and comfortable in their home.
I've been unfortunately sick these last few weeks here in cusco, and Rosanna and Lucho kindly took me to a local clinic which brings me to the health care system. There's a national health care system in place, decentralized with lots of confusing players. (sound familiar?) Anyway I had the pleasure of going to a clinic here, San Juan de Dios, and paying $13 for a consult, $18 for a chest xray, and about $23 for the medicines to treat a potential pneumonia. Which brings up another interesting aspect of this culture - bargaining. Next to nothing here has a price tag on it, you have to ask and then name a price and then so do they and back and forth until somebody says ok. They haggle for everything. Even my chest x-ray!! which ultimately I had done in the basement of this obscure building next door to a nail salon, so needless to say I was thrilled that Rosanna (host mom) offered to take me.
The weather, we're in the rainy season now which means random showers, sometimes strong, sometimes drizzling. But RAINBOWS galore! its been a beautiful sight to catch frequently here, but i hope I never get used to it!
There are many more things to keep you updated about, but I'm going to write more later about the school and the orphanage I work with. I've taken this week off to recoop from this frustrating illness, feeling weak though grateful for the continued prayers! And if anyone wants any specific Peruvian handicraft or souvenir, I'm happy to go shopping for you! Keep in touch!!