It was like a home away from home, if just for one night.
“I’m pretty sure I’m going in the right direction,” I thought to myself as I wandered along Huancayo, looking for the calle La Florida. I was in search of my hostel for the weekend on my second solo trip outside of Lima to the capital of the Junín region of central Peru.
Numerous fountains, many adorned with majestic gardens and flowerbeds, are scattered throughout the city of Lima in every district. But, just as water in fountains is used to draw in bystanders’ attention, I’ve seen endless situations in Peru where gallons upon gallons (upon liters) of water have been senselessly wasted.
It can be said that traveling abroad pulls at one’s heart strings in many ways, especially when traveling from a developed country to a country that is yet still developing.
Skirting glances. Sweaty palms. Racing heart. As a woman foreigner in a city of almost 10 million inhabitants with a first language different than my own, leaving for the evening on my own that Thursday was a big step for me. It was a preliminary step to my newfound independence here in Lima.
“Mentiroso! Tramposo! Llamaré a la policía!” Everyone on the purple bus headed toward the district of Miraflores in Lima pretended not to hear the grievance happening between a thoroughly distraught woman passenger and the cobrador (fare collector).
“So, what time can we agree upon to begin class?” asked my Peruvian professor to our class. Yes, you read that correctly. This direct quote from my nonchalant professor was directed toward my class half-filled with groggy eyed college students at 7:30 a.m. on a Friday.