This is the fourth 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.
A Day Full of Adventure
We woke up to a cute note from Sue at the kitchen table. Well, we didn’t wake up at the table… that would be weird. You know what I mean. Btw she prefers to be called Sue and not Sister Sue. So that is what I will say from now on. You have officially been notified.
But around 9:45 Sue still was not home, so we decided to head to school to find her. Adventure Uno: find Sue. The kindergarteners were having recess when we arrived. As soon as we entered the school, we were bombarded. But, I loved every minute of it. Their little faces lit up, they pointed at us and said, “Katy y Lissy!!” It was so adorable. And then they all ran up and hugged me and I almost fell over. No, really, I actually almost fell. After we peeled them off of us, we went to find Sue. The teachers told us she was in her office.
But before we could make it to her office, we were stopped by the cooking teacher. She invited us into her classroom to see what the students were making. They were making different chocolate desserts. A student offered us his chocolate candy he made, but he told us to only take one. Ok, dude. A group of girls had made chocolate covered marshmallows. They gave us three of them. But wait there’s more… Then the teacher took us to the kitchen to show us the cake the students made yesterday. She gave us a little piece of it. I told you if I gain 20 pounds upon returning home, you know why. We talked for a while with this teacher, and by talking, I mean I was the translator for my mom and this lady. It was difficult. I really need to practice my Spanish more at home, y’all. Anyways, she is super nice and I wanted to get my photo with her, but I figured that would be weird to ask so I didn’t. I’m sure I’ll see her again.
Sue found us before we found her. Mission failed. Her meeting went over and that’s why she was late getting home. Mystery solved. She had to run home to get something and she would be back. Now we were the captive audience of the woodworking teacher. He invited us into his classroom to show us what his students had been working on. I also had to be the translator in this situation. I really should get paid for this. I think I will start charging my mom.
Sue returned and we went on Adventure Dos: to the Minca Market. It’s like a big outdoor shopping area. We went to exchange our dollars for some soles (the currency here). Also, Sue bought some things for the house.
On the way home from the market we took the bus. Yay! I have been fascinated by the bus system here in Peru since day one. These buses that everyone takes are like vans. I have no idea how people know which bus to take. There is guy who sits inside the van by the sliding door. He yells out the window, or sometimes yells out the open door something incomprehensible. I’m assuming the stops they are making. Someone waves him down, he tells the driver to stop, the person gets on, he tells the driver to go, and then we’re off. It’s very interesting.
We ate lunch at the school today. Parents can pay the cook to make their kid lunch for the day if they want. Or they can just bring their own lunch. Like all the food is here, the food was delicious. After lunch, Adventure Tres was awaiting us (us meaning my mom and Sue): interviewing the principal and vice principal of the school. The real reason we came on this trip to Peru.
As mentioned before, my mom is the Communications Director for the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville. The Sisters founded and started Sacred Heart Schools in Louisville. The Ursuline Sisters are known for being educators and for being involved in social justice issues. In 1964, they started this school in Peru. Sister Lee Kirchner and Sister Martha Staarman, who founded the school, basically came down with only a box of pencils and started a school in the middle of a slum area called Carmen de la Legua along the Rimac River in Lima. Now, Carmen de la Legua has grown so much. There were hardly any photos or videos of the school. When my mom is writing about the Sisters in Peru, she doesn’t have many resources. My mom wanted to come get these stories to have them in the archives. Now she will be able to use these photos, videos, and stories to help her. I’m truly amazed by her. She is awesome at her job.
Anyways, my mom did her thing with the video camera and asking questions. Sue was the translator. Good thing because I could not understand a lick of what the principal was saying. I have difficulty understanding men speaking Spanish. Their voices sound so raspy and deep. It’s hard for me to make out a single word. Basically, I suck and need to improve my Spanish. Jk I’m a star and I am proud of myself. I do need to practice mi espanol though. The vice principal and principal were both so kind. They have been through all the changes of the school and they had so many great things to say about the sisters. I can’t spill it all. You will just have to wait for the video premier. Remember, I told you we were becoming Netflix famous.
Adventure Cuatro: go into Miraflores in Lima city. Sue arranged for her friend, Dominga, to take us into the city. She is so funny and so sweet for agreeing to give us a tour! What an adventure. I am currently writing this blog post, in my notes, on my phone, because we have been in the taxi for over an hour. Lima is less than 20 min away from the house. One thing people need to know about Lima and its surrounding cities: TRAFFIC IS TERRIBLE. When I say terrible I mean like it is awful and scary. It’s a lot of stop and go/ not moving at all/ cutting people off/ beeping/ trying not to die basically. At one point we were on the main highway and everyone was in standstill traffic. This man popped up and was running through the cars yelling at everyone to move to one side because an ambulance was coming. But sir, like how? I found it pretty cool though because everyone was trying their hardest to get out of the way. Passengers were out of their cars trying to get people to move over and make way. Everyone was honking, people had their windows down yelling, the ambulances siren was going off… it was pretty chaotic but fascinating to witness.
Anyways, we’re still not home, so I’ll continue. In Lima we visited a spot called Miraflores that is along the coast! It was beautiful. It was a bit chilly and Dominga said the water is very cold. The waves were very big with a lot of surfers.
We saw a few parks, including a park called “Park of Love.” LOL. It is called this because in the center is a very sensual and very large statue. Exhibit A:
Interesting, I know. But it’s also titled that because there are a lot of poetic messages airing the park about love. The mosaic walls were very cool. We wanted to get a picture in a couple certain spots, but unfortunately, they were occupied by love birds. Imagine that: couples acting cute in Love Park. Hmm.
Afterwards, we went into the city where there was shopping. We got a few souvenirs. I’m not saying for who. We walked around and Dominga had us try Picarones. It’s like a donut with honey. We walked around the area some and saw a beautiful church.
Then we found a restaurant that served typical Peruvian dishes. Yay! We had a drink called Pisco Sour. Highly recommend. Not sure what it was, but it was good. It had a lemon flavor. Dominga told us that if you were to have three of these drinks you would be completely out of it. We stuck with one. Can’t be rolling up tipsy to Sisters’ home. We all shared a dish called Lomo Saltado. In English this means Jumping Lamb. It has lamb meat, vegetables, and rice. They call it jumping lamb because when they are cooking it in the pan and flipping it, it looks like the food is jumping. How clever. We finished our meal with a non-alcoholic drink called Chi Cha Morada. This is the drink I mentioned a few posts back that is made from the purple corn. It was very sweet. I felt like I was drinking soda. And then we left and got a taxi and now here we are… still in the taxi. It’s fine, everything is fine.
Oh, guess what my friends?! Tomorrow we leave for the mountains. Don’t freak out, but I will not have WIFI. This means you will not see any blogs for 5 days. I know you are all fighting off panic attacks. It will be ok. Another disappointment: we are not taking the 14 hour bus ride. Ugh. I was really looking forward to that. We are taking a plane. Pray for me. I picture a tiny 8 passenger plane. I’m sure that’s not the case. I am just being dramatic. From the plane we will have to take about a two hour bus ride to the sisters’ home. I am excited!!
Anyways we have finally arrived home. Thank you for being my fans. Love you all. ¡Buenas noches!