As we arrived in Lima late Friday evening, the city was dark and full of fog which gave it a aery look . It reminded me a lot like New York City because of all the street lights and buildings shaping the pathways. We were picked up at the airport and brought to the hotel but as we drove, seeing the city for the first time was incredible. It was not at all what I expected the city of Lima to look like. Much larger and very crowded. I learned that 1/3 of Peru’s population was in Lima and that certainly explained its self while we were dodging traffic. I’m sure that in Peru, the stop signs are optional, and there is no such thing as staying in your lain. Definitely woke me up watching the driver work his magic by getting us to the hotel in one piece. It hadn’t really hit me quit yet that we were in a foreign country until I was in able to communicate with any one. Listening to everyone speak Spanish, once we got to dinner, was like we watching a tv show. Not understanding anything but about to pick up on the topic using other seances. I had a difficult time even asking the waiter for a glass of lemon aid, which turned out to be limonaid. (Which was way too sour for my liking) Then I had to order my meal. I couldn’t understand the menu because it was in all Spanish. I eventually found a picture of a platter that looked appetizing and was also labeled. I told the waiter what I wanted in Spanish, but I’m sure right away, he noticed I was not from this country. My Spanish accent is very bad.
The next day was spent listening to a talk learning about the different locations we where eventually going to embark on this journey. Let me just say, I can not wait to get to Punts San Juan and see all the sea lions and hummbolt pengiens. But aside from that, we were taken to one of the main touristy spots in the city. The coast line full of cliffs and edges that led directly into the Pacific Ocean. It baffled me because of how close some of these building where to the edge of the cliffs. What would happen if a large enough earthquake where to strike the coastline and destroy the development? Many of the structures looked to not be built on stable foundation which means the floors could give away any day. It wasn’t just this one spot in the city that was built like this, it was the entire coastline. I think though, the reason for building right up to the coast is because the community can’t really go east do to the Andes mountains. In order to support the growing population, every space that is available is used up and built up. I would consider Lima a city because of the taller buildings rather than the population density.
This cultural difference that we have the opportunity to engage ourselves into is really an eye opener. The world it really different depending on location and this is what shapes culture. Not being someone who has been to many country’s different from the states, I haven’t really grasped an understanding of all the different types of people in the world. Peru is, in fact, the only country that I have been to that I’ve had a language barer. I have been to Cancun, Mexico but because of the high income from tourist, the city was more sooted for English speaking countries. I never was challenged and also the Mexican community was use to working with different cultures. They seamed to have gotten it as close to American culture just to make the tourist feel more comfortible. That is not the case here in Peru. Everything is way out of my comfort level but this is exactly what I wanted to happen. To challenge myself and become less oblivious to the world around me. To become more appreciative for the resources around us and the cultures that are developed based on these resources. Now every time I see an avocado or hear of fish cooked in lime juice, I will think of the Peruvian culture and how they made their living satisfying other countries with their native resource.