People ask us all the time “Why Peru” apparently I haven’t written about that either. Honestly, going abroad is something we decided on a whim and we went with. After that we decided we wanted to live abroad for a year or two, and Matthew wanted to go to South America so that he could become fluent in Spanish. We started talking with the TEFL Institute about places where we could take a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate and we chose Peru momentarily – but ended up taking a class online. We continued to search the world for a home via the internet and talking to friends but Peru just stuck. I discovered that they don’t speak as fast as they do in other Spanish speaking countries (this will be easier to learn Spanish); that Peru has a wonderful combination of Incan, Spaniard, and African cultures; and that Peru has some of the best food in the world (you know I’m a foodie). Even better we had a wonderful array of coincidental friends and connections to Peru- an old friend of mine from college Eduardo, is from Peru; a new friend of mine and caterer of my last event Dennis, is from Peru; my brother-in-law has a friend that just finished working at the US Embassy in Peru; my cousin’s fiance’s father Tim, is married to a Peruvian and just moved from Peru; PBS started a mini-series “Blacks in Latin America” which featured Peru; and my grandmother and my mom’s first trip abroad together was to Peru. So basically all arrows pointed to PERU and that is why we are here.
Thus far life in Lima is far better than we would have ever imagined. Here are a few pretty amazing things:
- To start it off we lucked out on a great swanky apartment that has hot water, a washer and dryer, cable TV, and more … LOL OK its a lot more than that – but being comfortable in your habitation has a lot to do with whether or not you like where you are or not.
- My neighborhood Barranco, is a walking town – I can walk anywhere I need to go and pretty much get everything I need right here.
- I’ve been able to go to some pretty great events right here in the city I live in – Barranco Blues Festival, Mistura, and Expat events.
- Lima has tons of different districts to visit, I would compare Lima to a state and its districts to cities (although Lima is technically a city). There are also many museums to visit and learn about the Peruvian culture.
- I’ve been able to travel to other near by cities such as Ica, Huacachina, Chincha, and Cerro Azul.
- I’ve learned how to get around on the combis (bus) and choose the right taxi (old man & nice car). I’m definitely walking more this is an improvement.
- I’m taking a dance class in Spanish.
- I’m learning Spanish
- Teaching adults has been an amazing learning experience – not just learning that I have more patience than I ever imagined. But I am also meeting amazingly brilliant people that I am learning from.
- Matthew and I have not regretted a single day since we arrived here!
- And last but of course not least I’ve made great friends. This took a while, at first we thought we need to strategies – “hey do you want to trade English for Spanish” lol no that didn’t work. But all of a sudden it all fell into place – either through classes friends that were once just students, on facebook, the expat community, other teachers, or someone you meet just by sitting next to them at a bar or walking down the street. Everyone has been extremely nice and we’ve made “fast friends”. I’ve been to expat events, had drinks with friends, breakfast with the girls, a friends amazingly fun birthday party (why do grown @ss people party till 5am like they’re 21 here lol) (click for photos), we’ve even been a country club here – The Regatas, my friend’s husbands “reunion” (get together- food and drinks) at her in-laws, went on a road trip to a friends summer home in Cerro Azul (click for photos), and even made American style breakfast with our Peruvian family.
So what’s next? Matthew and I can’t believe we’ve almost been married for one year. We have been truly blessed to have been able to embark on this amazing journey together. We’d love to visit another South American country for our anniversary.
Please leave a comment on why you voted for a particular destination.