Rachel is a third-year studying Spanish literature. This past summer she spent time in Chile studying abroad. This is her first post from her journies
June 21, 2016
Lima was a whirlwind of delicious food and new sights. In the city, I strolled through the streets filled with parks, plazas, and fun juxtaposition of both modern and colonial architecture. In one 30-minute flight, I journeyed from the cliffs of the Pacific to the Andes Mountains, basically in tears the whole time because of the beauty of it all.
My trip to Peru was a sweet transition into the southern hemisphere and Spanish-speaking world. I lived for the first week with a missionary family in their apartment in the residential neighborhood of Miraflores just a few block from the coast. As Americans who had been in the country for seven years, they had all kinds of cultural tips to share with me. They generously let me be a part of their daily life, taking me to work and church, introducing me to their welcoming community of missionary and Peruvian friends, and showing me the must-see spots in Lima.
After a week of fountain light shows, malls dug into the side of cliffs, coffee shops, cathedrals, local lunches, historical tours and a fine dining experience in the two-story McDonald’s, I flew out with them to the mountain city of Huánuco. Situated in a valley at 6,000 feet above sea level, I will remember the city as a place of neon lights, a zillion moto taxis, and a shockingly beautiful view of the Andes from every single direction. Our days were spent building relationships with the Quechua people, asking questions, and sharing stories in small villages a few thousand feet above Huánuco. At lunch, the most important meal of the day, the group’s translator Arturo would have everyone rolling in their seats with laughter over hot plates of lomo saltado, ají de gallina, antichuchos de corazón, papa rellena and chaufa, a Peruvian-Chinese fusion dish. I quickly learned non-carbonated water is a drink for the gringos (white foreigners), and grew to enjoy chicha morada (corn drink), emoliente (barley drink), or everyone´s favorite soda Inca Cola.
Thanks to Peru, I finally got a chance to use my Spanish in the “real world”. I learned a lot about the andino people and the process of ministry, and left with an overwhelming sense of joy at seeing passionate Americans and Peruvians coming together and tirelessly pouring out their hearts. The country is a special place, and I’m glad I got to take a sneak peak into all it has to offer.