Chifa and Socialists

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Flag of Peru  , Lima,
Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Hello hello.. I'm sitting here listening to some sweet music from the Sierra (mountain region) of Peru that my companera gave me. It's a really neat folksy song. Now let's see, what has happened since those few precious hours of sunshine a few days ago?... I had my Fe y Cultura class and I really liked it. Essentially it's a class that uses various movies (from all different parts of the world--Europe, US, South America...) to facilitate discussion and reflection about personal faith and faith in general. I'm excited because it's going to a very interactive class that'll force me the get better at speaking, especially considering the depth at which a topic like faith can be discussed. After having gone to that and seeing that it won't turn out to be mountains of homework, I think I'm going to try to audit the Social Movements of Latin America class as well. Ok, so there's my thinking on classes, to more interesting stuff for everyone else's benefit.

    Last night Allison, Brandon (Allison's housemate from Texas), Rachel (from Marshall U. in WV, but in my program) and I went to La Parque de la Reserva, which has a "magic fountain circuit." Basically, it's this big park with a lot of different water fountains, including allegedly the tallest on in the world at approx. 80m, and then another that is timed with various songs (highlights were such classics as the Beatles, Waterloo by ABBA, and the Mighty Ducks 2 movie theme song). It was really cool. I also loved the orange tunnel of water jets (There are pictures of all of this). 

    This morning I also learned that Miraflores has over three miles of, more or less, continuous park space along the cliffs by the sea, which makes for a swell place to run since it's a bit removed from the suffocating exhaust fumes of the street. That's pretty much it for now. I'm off to Chinatown for what I hope is a delicious lunch.

...And now that I'm back from that lunch I have another adventure to tell about. After Rachel, Vanessa, Allison and I stuffed our faces full of delicious Chifa, we started to mosie our way through downtown Lima, finding a beautiful church (Iglesia de la Merced), and making some friends along the way. There were two big groups of people surrounding what looked like a street performer on either side of the square, so we stopped to see what was going on. Getting stared at in Lima is by no means an unusual thing, but it's normally limited to little kids and the random passerby. We knew something was different here when every single person there took a moment to look at us as we walked up.
    We asked one guy there what it was, and he explained that it was a meeting of workers that happens everyday. It seemed really interesting so we kepting talking.. "ohh, is it to try to get rights...." etc. etc. Well he obviously enjoyed talking to us, and started asking, ohh where are you from... the usual questions for tourists. At this point I decided to try a little experiment. I said I was from Canada and the girls were from the US, to try to see if there was any kind of different reception to the two nationalities. There was, but not any of the kind that I thought would be entertaining. The girls turned to talk to another man, and I was stuck racking my brain as this guy asked me about "my government" and "my national anthem" and what I thought of the Queen. I also forget that Quebec is in the french speaking part of Canada, so I had to explain why I knew no french. It turned out he knew more about Canada than I did, and I learned my lesson--let someone else deal with experiments involving made up nationalities. Anyways, it turned out we were on the outskirts of a meeting of socialist workers, and across the way was the rival meeting of the nationalist workers. After about five minutes of good conversation (they were very interested on everyone's views on Obama), we said our good byes and made our way home.

  PS I'm also putting in a few more pictures from the trip that I just got from Allison. They're mostly of the Masato party and then a few other things
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