In just four days I leave for my first trip of the semester, to the beautiful Amazon Rainforest town of Iquitos, right on the river! I am so excited and ready to fly out today, the only thing standing in my way is 3 days of classes. Meh. But lets rewind to this weekend and we’ll slowly arrive back to my anticipation for the trip.
Saturday morning was another CIEE workshop, the Taller de Baile. For those of you who don’t speak spanish, baile means dance. If the thought of me dancing frightens you, and it should, you must know me pretty well and/or have seen me attempt to dance. It certainly is not a sight anyone would want to see. However, I said “when in Lima” and decided to go, unsure of what it would be like and hoping that living in South America had led to the fusion of my body with Shakira’s and thus my hips to become unlocked from their 20 years of dancing hiatus. I tried to convince myself that this was possible and that my body was going to wake itself up and I would soon be getting calls to be in Latin American dance videos.
Wow wow wow was I wrong. If only there was video…what went down in that dance studio can be buried and lost forever and I would be ecstatic. I am not a dancer. It’s as simple as that. I tried, and I failed, if not miserably. The first dance we learned was from a category called “Afro-Peruano”. I honestly don’t remember much of what I learned because I have actively been trying to forget it all since the class ended. I don’t want to remember the stiffness in my hips, my inability to clap/dance on rhythm, or the instructor’s attempt to dance with me in which I tripped over my own feet. No… I don’t ever want to relive that. Despite my ineptitude, we had a great time laughing at ourselves and congratulating each other when we remotely got the steps down. We occasionally broke out our own US dance moves (much to the instructor’s dismay) and fun was had by all. It was a great experience which had given me a much higher appreciation for Shakira and all the other Latin American dancers I have seen before and during my time here in Lima.
After a delicious lunch of Lomo Saltado (Peru’s version of fajitas which is phenomenal!!) some of the group decided to venture back up to Polvos Azules–the super cheap market where money goes to die. After searching around for items to buy, I finally settled on a present for my twin sister, Rachel. I want to bad to tell her what it is and post a picture on here but she won’t answer my email to tell me if thats okay (don’t want to ruin the surprise if she doesn’t want to know what it is..RACHEL ANSWER ME). After time and time again convincing myself that no, I didn’t need an expensive imported Snickers bar, I started my trip home, proud of myself that I had resisted the temptation to buy overpriced sugary candy in the market.
I continued congratulating myself on this power of will until I was about one block from my house. And the combination of my sweet tooth (thanks Daddy…), the impulse buyer in me, and my inability to turn down a good deal (thanks Aunt Di…) landed a piping hot Churro in my hands. I’m not sure how I paid to be quite truthful, the delicious snack just sort of ended up in my hands. If you’ve never experienced the heavenly taste of a hot churro, attempt to live vicariously through me in the picture below (which almost didn’t get taken because I ate most of the treat before I could even get out my camera). oops.
Later that night, some of the students and I decided we wanted to go bowling. After perusing a street market, karaoking our way through some Brittney Spears, The Eagles, Bon Jovi, and the Rolling Stones, and overpaying a micro, we made it to the Cosmic Bowling alley in the beautiful cliffside mall complex known as Larco Mar. The view from the mall is breathtaking, especially at night when you can see the lights all the way up and down the coastline, I wish the picture below did it justice. Long story short, I am NOT a professional bowler (barely scraping into the 60s) but we still had a blast and the atmosphere was really neat. I also learned a lot about bowling from one of the students, Brooke, whose boyfriend was a junior national champion bowler. Also, who doesn’t love wearing a good ole pair of bowling shoes??
After a good night’s rest, we arrive back at my anxiousness at having to wait 4 more days to depart for Iquitos. I’m slightly worried about getting malaria and sitting on an anaconda (don’t worry mommy!!) but excited to search for pink dolphins, go pirhana hunting, and play with sloths. Looking forward to a good, fast week! Miss everyone at home!!
Before I bowled a 60. Not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed