Busy, busy, busy….but a good busy

Where do the weeks go? I have had such good intentions on getting this blog caught up and my pictures uploaded on the web. I try to plan my days….get David off to work, “shuffle” along the Malecon or do a workout in the apartment, eat breakfast and run an errand or two. Then, come home and answer e-mails, update the blog…etc. Well, the errands have been running into all day affairs! What I think will take an hour or two ends up taking the whole afternoon…Peruvian time, will I ever get used to it???

Anyway, Mary and Pam are gone. Mary and Alan left last Saturday for Chile. The arrived in Santiago at 3:00 AM Sunday morning and Alan left the same Sunday for a business trip to Australia. Pam and Rick left Wednesday to go to Santiago. Rick is closing his apartment there. They will come back to Lima on Sunday or Monday and then Pam leaves Wed for Canada until sometime in January. So, I will be “flying solo” for awhile. As Pam says, “no worries” as I have been able to entertain myself very well this past week.

On Monday, I found the South American Explorers Club and joined it. It has a wealth of information in the clubhouse on all the different areas of Peru. They have notebooks full of critiques from other travelers on different hotels, restaurants, tours, etc. Also, they have a book exchange (yipppeee!), conversational Spanish practise on Monday mornings and lectures on Wednesday nights.

They have tons of information on volunteer work here in Lima and Peru. I looked through it all and can’t decide what I want to attempt to do with my limited Spanish. Several organization help homeless children, single mothers or abused women. I just don’t know if I want/can get involved with those causes. One that does look interesting is the non-profit agency that educates people in communities on how to care for animals. On their website, they said they visit schools as part of the education process. They also have a animal shelter and a therapeutic horse riding program. I honestly don’t know what I have to offer with my limited Spanish (correlate papers, address envelopes?), but I thought that it would help me learn quicker if I got involved with a worthy project.

The most wealthy piece of information I came away from the clubhouse with was a book “Surviving Living in Lima”. It has an over abundance of information on everything an ex-pat needs to know about moving and living in Lima. It was the best $30 investment I have made since moving here.

I have also been working on finding a private tutor to help me with my Spanish. I have toyed with the idea of taking classes again, but think that one-on-one would possibly be more cost effective. I enjoyed the classes in Santiago, but occasionally, I would get a teacher that I didn’t care for or another student would go off on a tangent and talk the whole class, not giving anyone else the opportunity to participate. So….finding a teacher is on the “to do” list for next week.

I went furniture shopping yesterday. Again, what I thought would be a couple of hours, turned out to be more like five hours!!! Our concierge here in our apartment took me to a furniture market area. We walked around looking for a small table to put our purified water dispenser on. Found that and then onto a small computer desk. Couldn’t find what I wanted, so finally ordered one to be made. It will be ready next Wednesday…but this is Peruvian time, so it could be the following Monday or a two weeks from Wednesday!

Speaking of Peruvian time….our internet speed isn’t the correct one. As I explained in another post, we need the fastest speed they offer, which is what I thought we were getting originally. So, Thursday was November 8th. Geronimo, my internet guy arrived 2 hours late…but he arrived. He said that he had to put a call into the company. So, after the phone call, he proceeds to explain to me that I need to wait for the first invoice, go to the Telefonica company and pay the bill. While there, I need to request the internet with “mas velocidad”….grrrrr….why didn’t they tell me to do this the last time he was here and spoke with him??? I guess I shouldn’t complain, at least I have internet access and for that, I am very, very grateful!

My maid, Edith, comes on Thursdays. She was amazed when I told her that I had never had a maid before. I try to impress on the Peruvians that I meet, that I would never live like this in the states! Of course their image of ex-pats is that we are all rich, rich, rich. I believe this is so partly because of television, movies and the way ex-pats live down here. Anyway, I obviously don’t need a maid…but we have the means and she definitely needs a job. She is 36 and has 3 children. The husband is out of the picture…I don’t think she is divorced, but I believe she is separated. I certainly appreciate how well she cleans. Oh, did I mention that she charges 35 soles a visit which works out to $11.65. I pay her 50 soles ($15) and I thought she was going to faint! I asked Edith if she would show me how to prepare some Peruvian dishes. She said that she wasn’t a good cook, but her sister would. Another thing for the “to do” list!

Last night, I had to order more water to be delivered today. Plus, the dispenser is leaking, so I had to request a new one. Before making the call, I spoke with my “life support” Jose Luis and asked him how to say it. He told me and so I made the call. After I got off the phone, I told David that they are suppose to deliver the water today and a new dispenser…David said, or you may be getting 2 bottles of water…I will let you know!

Speaking of today, I am going to the baptism of Jose Luis’ new baby girl. I am looking forward to it as I will get to meet his wife and 3 daughters but I am also extremely nervous because I am afraid that I may make one of my famous Spanish blunders!!! From what I gather, it is a huge family affair. I think that it will be wonderful to experience the true Peruvian culture.

So, that brings you up-to-date with what I have been doing. David is fine…continues to work. Tomorrow he has off and we are going to do a small day trip to a point of land that we look out to everyday. He is curious where it goes! Hopefully, next weekend we will have the weekend off and can plan a “get away”. Still working on the blog for the last get away…

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