Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Movies in Peru

Today, we went to our first movie in Peru! After much research, as there are a lot of movie theaters in the vicinity, my guides opted to take us to Cineplanet in Miraflores. They debated on location, quality of theater, and price. I certainly have not put so much thought into this process before, but seems reasonable enough. 

So, to get to Miraflores, we walked over to the main road and caught a cab. This seemed more logical as the price was was about the same as it would have been to sardine into a combi. It cost 17 soles, versus the 15 it would have cost in the combi. The taxi was a newer car and still in good shape, so the nicest ride we have had since we arrived. (Not to hate on Wilfredo's car, as it has been our wonderful and reliable ride, but it is a 21-year-old Diahatsu that is falling apart..) 

But I digress.. The movie theater was super nice. We got there around 4pm when the lines were short and it was easy to get everything and settled before the film started. Tickets cost 20 soles each (not cheap for standards here, but cheap for me!). My small 7 Up, same small as you expect in the US (and not the medium size small that you sometimes come across) was 7.5 soles. It didn't come with ice. Weird. And they do sell popcorn and it is called popcorn, but my friends from here referred to it as canchita. Mmm, good. 

We saw the movie Wolverine. We had to go to the 4th floor to get to the level with our showing. I didn't think to count the screens, but it was a big place! In honor of the Fiesta Patria, they played the Peruvian National Anthem before the movie. Very patriotic of them. The movie had Spanish subtitles, so not terribly different than a movie experience in the US. They do have dubbed movies, called doblado, but we will have to go to a theater in a less ritzy part of town for that. Btw, it was a good movie! 

Another fun fact, you don't throw your own trash away at the theater. There were no garbage cans anywhere! After the movie, we just got up and left our cups and popcorn at our seats. They had like 7 people waiting for us to leave to clean the theater after us. I guess that is one way to employ more people. At least that benefits the community.. 

After the movie, we wandered over (7 blocks approx) to the Kennedy Park. It is also known as the park with lots of cats, FYI. Near the park, there was an arts and crafts fair going on, so people brought in their handmade jewelry, pottery, clothes, etc from various regions in the country. It was cool to see the variety of things people make here and the different materials they use. Nice little adventure through that. 

To end this blog, let me tell you about our little journey home. First, we walked over to the block where the S combi arrives if we decided to take that home. People were getting tired and just wanted to hail a cab, so we tried to hail a cab. To go away from the busy area though is more expensive, so all the cabs were asking for around 30 soles, which is way more than the 15 soles to get home via combi. So, after 5 cabs were turned down, we boarded the combi. I was impressed it was not packed to the gills. We actually got to sit! Granted, it was knee to knee with strangers, but better than standing doubled over.  Next, I look over at Melissa and ask how she is doing. She is now rummaging through her bag looking for Dramamine.. Uh oh. (Btw, not a good idea to use the word drogas if not referring to illegal drugs - Everyone had a look of exasperation when i said it, oops.) We manage to get things worked out and she gets a seat next to the window. This is an improvement, but not awesome because apparently the guy that announces the combi and takes care of the money smells downright awful! Fortunately, enough people got off for us to move away after a bit, so the entire ride wasn't awful. We were later informed that these guys always smell like they don't shower. I would also like to note that the guy had his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth like a dog with its head out the window. At any rate, it took a bit longer to get back, but it didn't seem like much longer. People drive like madmen here, so whether they stop every ten feet or not to pick up people, you get to your destination in good time. This is part of the reason the ride can make you a bit queasy too. Finally, we got off at Faucett and Quilca and all was well. Just a short walk back to the house and we could call that trip a success!

I am very appreciative of Karen, Rocio, and Jhonny for leading us around on our adventure! 

If we ever want to venture to Miraflores on our own, I think we have the tools to do it. Now, I just need to work on my negotiating skills in Spanish to talk to the cab drivers, so they don't charge me double for being a foreigner. Details.. 

~nos vemos~

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beginning a Phase of My Life in PERU!

Hey there!

I had a blog once upon a time for an English class, but I haven't used it in a long while. However, I am now living abroad for the year, so it seems like a good time to get back into this.

I just moved to Peru on July 10th and will be here for approximately 1 year. After just 14 days here, I am glad to report that things are going smoothly. However, there are still a lot of things to learn..like Spanish! 

Here is a little background on why I am here.. My church, Community of Christ, sponsors this program called World Service Corps (or El Cuerpo de Servicio Mundial). I believe its main purpose is to introduce young adults to the world and experience how other people live - with our connection being the church. For example, I am from the US and I am learning about the people, culture, and C of Christ church in Peru. One day in May 2013 (yes, not that long ago..), Laura, my friend interning for WSC, contacted me and said they had a position open in Peru...and of course I said YES! 

It was a crazy and hectic 2 months of packing, leaving jobs, and saying goodbye to everyone. I am glad to have made it over that hurdle. It was a lot of stress and I hate saying goodbye. I always end up crying. I know it isn't forever, but it just happens. 

That whole situation has encouraged me to make sure I do a good job keeping in touch with family and friends while I am gone, which means I have been learning a lot about phone apps and computer programs that facilitate keeping in touch. My most used programs are: Facebook, Kik, iMessage, Skype, Vine, Instagram, G-chat, and E-mail. Granted, they all rely on me having access to internet, which I have had consistently so far. (I will need to figure out what I am going to do when I move to Huanuco, as they might not have such a sweet deal...) In the meantime, communication is possible! 

This is good enough for now. I have a year to give you the scoop and share more of the exciting things I encounter in Peru! 

~nos vemos~

(Jhonny, Rocio, Me(Katrina), Laura, Melissa, Graciela, Wilfredo, & Karen)