This is the second in a series of blog posts written by Elizabeth Williams, the daughter of Kathy Williams, director of communications for the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville. Elizabeth provides a fresh and witty travelogue of their trip to Peru September 29–October 13 2019.
Hola! The first day in Peru was wonderful and everything I hoped for. If you remember last, I said that we were arriving to the airport and then who knew what was gonna happen. Well, we survived… I know you were all up worrying yourselves… After going through a long (insert cuss word) customs line, and finally getting to the customs lady only for her computer to freeze after I had given her all of my finger prints (!!! Hello is this some kind of joke?!?!?), and then being sent to another customs lady and having to awkwardly cut the long (insert cuss word) customs line while feeling the impending death stares on the back of my head, and then my mom’s customs lady repeatedly falling asleep and having to ask her the same questions over, and then retrieving our luggage, we were finally freeeee! Sorry for the run-on sentence, but that’s how life felt yesterday at 1 am. Sister Sue and Sister Yuli were waiting outside for us. They are so cute and sweet! They ran up and gave us hugs. They ordered us a taxi and off we went to their place. They only live 10 min from the airport. Their place is so cute. It reminds me so much of Spain. I love it. We chit-chatted a bit, but sleep was calling all of our names.
This morning we “slept in.” Some of us more than others… cough cough my mother…cough cough. It sounds like the highway runs through the middle of our room, so I’m not really sure how she slept in. Ok, maybe I’m being dramatic, but it sounds like we are sleeping outside on the street. There is a lot of traffic and honking and dogs barking and chickens crowing and sirens and other odd noises. I’m not complaining btw, I’m just simply stating facts. My mother and I are roommates. We each have a twin bed.
So anyways we woke up, I had a cold shower (because I’m dumb and don’t know how to work things), and we had breakfast and drank our coffee with the sistas. If you know my mom you know how she is with her coffee. She likes it super strong, aka she likes it to taste like dirt. People, she brought her own bag of dark roast coffee. She is a boujee. Jk love you mom! The moment I poured our coffee and saw that it was a light brown color, I knew she was going to struggle. A few minutes later, she whispered to me that the coffee wasn’t very strong.
After our lovely breakfast, we were given a tour of the barrio. Barrio basically means neighborhood in Spanish. I loved it. I love seeing how people actually live in the places I visit. I want to know the real stuff, not the fake touristy stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love my souvenirs, but I want to know how life is truly lived and experience the culture. We walked to the market, but along the way, the sisters noticed a new chocolate store. The owner beckoned us to come inside to try different chocolate made from natural cacao. Muy delicioso. Then the nice lady told us she also sold chocolate liqueur and asked if we wanted to try it. So here I am in a tiny town, in Peru, in a tiny chocolate shop, drinking liqueur with Catholic Sister. My. Life. Y’all. It was tasty though… and strong.
So anyways as we were, “makin our way downtown walking fast..” (points if you got that song reference), we were also trying not to killed by the violent taxi motorists. They’re super tiny taxis that weave in and out of traffic. Pedestrians DO NOT have the right away here. I kid you not, they will not slow down for you if they see you walking in front of them. Consider yourself warned.
There are also a lot of stray dogs and cats in Peru. Don’t tell my mother, but I plan on taking one home. A dog, not a cat. Does anyone actually like cats???
The schools had just released for their lunch breaks. There were tons of students everywhere in their school uniforms. Pretty cute. I was amazed that they all wander around by themselves. There were elementary kids going into stores to buy themselves snacks. Different world here. Love it.
We made it to the market place. What an interesting, but beautiful scene. I swear this market had anything you could want. You could order food and eat at the counter, you could buy produce and meat, or you could go clothes shopping. The Sisters bought a lot of fruit and vegetables, which we ate some of it for dinner and it was delish. I’m not trying to be mean, but the market seemed a little unsanitary. OR maybe I’m just used to the U.S. being health freaks. Knock on wood, I’m not sick… yet.
The rest of the day we just hung out. Sister Sue showed us their garden/patio area and their rooftop. Around 8 pm we had a light snack. We had tea, some fresh bread, and a homemade dessert! Sister Sue went around the corner and bought us all some of it. At the market my mom and I noticed purple corn. Yes, corn that was purple. Sister Sue told us that this corn is used for drinks and desserts. Well, bless her heart because she went out and bought us the dessert from a local lady who sells it in the evening. It was delicious. It’s creamy with rice, fruit and then the purple juice from the corn. It sounds interesting, but trust me it is amazinggggg. It was so sweet and delicious. It’s like rice pudding in a way. I’m sorry, I was enjoying it too much to take a picture.
Sister Yuli doesn’t speak much English, so I have been doing my best to keep up with her in Spanish. It’s nice to hear Spanish spoken all around me again.
Anyhoo, it’s bedtime. We’re waking up bright and early at 6 am. We are going to the school that the Sisters started and still sponsor! We are going to meet all the kids tomorrow. I am super excited!!
Hasta luego, Lizzy