Published: June 16th 2012June 16th 2012
So I'll probably never write multiple times in one day ever again because I'll be too busy, but, here goes.
I forgot to mention that I saw a rainbow out the window of the plane leaving Houston, which was so cool, because, how many times in my life will I be able to say I was above a rainbow, rather than below it?
Anyways, today, after waking up early to have breakfast with Beth, I went back to sleep until almost 1pm. Luckily I had some soles left over from my last trip that I hadn't changed back into dollars, so I left the apartment and headed in the direction of what looked like a major road. Ana Maria had said there was a supermarket within 2 blocks, so I figured if I didn't find one soon, I'd just head in a different direction. I found one on the main street and got some pan naranja (which turned out not to have naranja in it, so I'm not sure why it's called that), quesco fresco, granadillas (shown here. they have this sweet pulp that you eat with super crunchy seeds the size and shape of sunflower seeds), and bananas
that will last me for lunch today and tomorrow. Total: Soles - 8.80, which is approximately $3 USD. Crazy.
I met Ana Maria's husband, Diego, this afternoon. He had been away on a business trip, he works as an architectural consultant. He is wonderfully loud, easy to understand, and clearly likes to talk and get the people staying in his home to talk as well. He had returned from a town where he picked bell peppers, orange "spicy" peppers (I thought they were fairly sweet), and guayaba (pictured here). I helped him arrange them so he could take a picture, he was so proud of picking his own fruits. He left them displayed in the kitchen as a surprise for Ana Maria, then had to go back to work.
Dinner was delicious. We had trigo rico (wheat grains with queso fresco, onion, and some kind of sauce), rice, and mini-omelets with tuna. Beth was exhausted and slept from 4pm-9pm, so Ana Maria and I ate dinner together. I already broke one of the cardinal rules of traveling in another country, especially one as Catholic as Peru, and brought up religion. She had told me a story about a previous tenant who was marrying a man because they were from the same country even though the tenant had fallen in love with a man here in Peru. I mentioned that I know my mother would like me to marry someone who's Jewish, but that for me, it's most important that the man has the same sense of responsibility to better the world and care for others, which I see as the core beliefs of Judaism. She asked if my whole family was Jewish, so I started explaining all the different religions in my family and we just started talking about how religion is an expression of the same desire to be a good person and to do good things in life, regardless of the motivation. Which was really nice, because I was afraid I might have completely offended her. . . She said her views have changed over the years based on observations, reading, and conversations with lots of different people, which I think is really great, because a lot of people don't even stop to consider other points of view.
There's also a Japanese guy staying here who joined us later during dinner. He came here without knowing a word of Spanish to do a 3-month immersion, before going to work as an engineer for a Japanese-owed mining company here in Peru for the next 3 years. I can't imagine the amount of courage that would take. . . He's only been here 11 days, but you can tell he understands a bit, certainly more than he speaks, but he's really trying and writes lots of words down. He prefers that I speak in English with him, and while I know he needs to get used to Spanish, it's a bit easier to explain public health to him in English since he doesn't know any of the vocabulary in Spanish. I told him we'll be here for 3 months as well, so we should all try to travel together, and he seemed interested. I told him I would help with Spanish if he teaches me some basic Japanese, which should be fun.
With that, I will say goodnight. Tomorrow, we explore and go salsa dancing!!