I have been in Peru for ten days and it has been one amazing experience so far. I am visiting this wonderful South American country as part of my international field experience required for my Masters of Arts in International Studies. I will be staying in this foreign yet fascinating land for ten weeks.
These past ten days have been quite challenging. This may sound a bit strange for someone who is fluent in Spanish and English, with an extensive knowledge in cross-cultural communication and has had a good experience traveling around the world. The truth is, I haven’t been abroad in quite a few years, I have been spoiled in the American ways and on top of that, facing different informal rules of social engagement can be quite a challenge in order to avoid making a fool of myself.
It is not the end of the world, but there’s the process of trying to think in terms of Soles and not in Dollars, getting used to the metric system and not the imperial system we use in the US and realize that “here” is no longer the US, but Perú.
I have been staying with my friend Karol Winterhalter, a Peruvian friend I met many years ago in Puerto Rico. This has made the transition a bit easier. She has become my “cultural attaché”, guiding me through the complex web of culturalisms in Peru, a much better alternative than my Lonely Planet Peru Travel Guide. Don’t get me wrong, the book helps a lot and it is great, but nothing like someone who actually lives and understands the mindset of such a multifaceted culture.
In ten days I have explore several districts inside the Lima Metropolitan Area, such as Surco, Barranco, Miraflores and San Bartolo. Lima’s landscape is one of many contrasts and filled with a multiplicity of cultures, but that, I will explain in another post. For now take a look at some of the images I have captured so far. Enjoy!