Sunday, July 31, 2011

La paz este contigo

I got to meet my host family (mom) today!  Que divertido!  It was so funny meeting our host families, it was straight out of a reality tv/game show.  We (the other students and I) piled out of an elevator on the 11th floor of the Maria Angola hotel to find a room full of families eager to meet their new students.  We lined up at the front of the room and our Resident Director went one by one introducing the families before announcing who their student would be.  It was similar to the announcer on 'Price is Right' when he says "Come on Down!!"  When I was announced as the next contestant, I met my host mom, Kitty, which is short for Katrina.  She has three children; however, all three of them are older and don't live at home so it is just me and her in our apartment.  Her two sons live in Europe (one in France, the other in Germany), but her daughter lives here in Miraflores, Lima.  Her daughter also happens to be the CIEE Resident Director's wife.  She has two grandchild, so I can't wait to meet them!!  Our apartment is pretty cool.  My room is spacious and I have a lofted bed, which seems cool, but I've already hit my head several times on both the loft and the ceiling!!  Although that's not a cultural thing, it's still something I am going to have to get used to (remembering not to sit up in bed in the morning). :)  I also have my own bathroom, which is AMAZING!! I've never had my own bathroom so I'm pretty excited for that!  Also, my host mom paints as a hobby and she was an art major in school so there's a lot of artwork around the house (you'll see some pictures later).  Also, many Peruvians have empleadas (maids).  Although this may make the Peruvians sound rich, they aren't always.  Maids are pretty normal to have here, but some empleadas are not paid well depending on the family they serve.  Also, some empleadas live in the house and some live outside the house.  I have yet to meet our empleada, Lydia, but from what I understand she lives in the house during the week and has weekends off.  I can't think of too much more to say about my house so here are some pictures of my room!
These are the stairs leading to my room with paintings done by my host mom.

You can see the ocean vaguely through the buildings!

I was able to get all settled into my apartment and to end the evening I joined my host mom for misa (mass).  I've never been to a mass so to attend mass for the first time in Spanish was quite interesting.  I understood a lot of what was going on, but obviously I had no idea what all the little sayings and songs were.  However, I was able to shake peoples' hands and say La paz este contigo to them, which means "Peace be with you."  Also, the church was gorgeous!!  I hope at some point, when it's not in the middle of mass, I can take a picture of it!!  Also, the music was pretty!!  Rather than a piano or organ the music was played by a guitarist and joined by a choir!  It was interesting and I hope by the end of the semester I am able to understand more of the misa.

Hmm..what else can I tell you from today..

I tried lucuma yogurt tonight, which is a fruit native to Peru (it was good, tasted like regular yogurt to me :)  Also, I tried Peruvian style chicken and yellow potato fries (yellow potatoes are apparently native to Peru, also).  The only thing that makes the chicken Peruvian is that it is broiled rather than fried.  Lastly on the food list, I tried Chicha!!  Chicha is a purple beverage made with cinnamon, purple corn (yes, purple corn!), and some other fruits.  It's very sweet, so it's best when you dilute it with water!  Also, another thing about my host mom, she's allergic to shell fish.  This may not seem like a big deal to you, but guess what?!  It means no ceviche in mi casa! :)  One last thing about my apartment building, we have a portero (doorman).  His name is Jose and having a doorman makes me feel like a celebrity.

I start my Spanish intensive classes tomorrow and I am surprisingly excited for them and I am in definite need of them!  Although, by the end of the week I might hate Spanish, but it will be good for me!  Also, I get to take the micros again tomorrow and it should be about an hour ride (yay!...).  Definitely should be a good cultural experience!  I am sure once I conquer the micro system I am going to feel invincible!!

Also, please, remember, I, am, here, to, improve, on, Spanish, not, English, so, please, ignore, my, frequent, incorrect, uses, of, commas.  I, hope, that, my, errors, don't, keep, you, from, reading, my, blog. :)


  1. I can picture it waking up in the morning, hitting your head on the ceiling, then tumbling off the bed onto the bean bag chair below. I bet you do that EVERY morning!

  2. Hi Andrea,
    Thank you for keeping us informed! It sounds like you are doing just wonderfully! We love you!
    Aunt Julie

  3. This made me laugh super hard when you say no ceviche for you! hahaha lucky! also, you should post a picture of your bathroom...your room looks awesome though!!! and your apartment/host mom sound awesome!!

  4. one last do you get to your alarm clock from up there?!?!? :)

  5. Para facilitar tu aprendizaje del español, quizás, de vez en cuando, puedas escribir entradas (o fragmentos de ellas) en castellano, ¿no?

    Cuídate, Andrea.

  6. Taylor, yes I will post a picture of my bathroom for you and eventually there will be pictures of the whole apartment (but not yet). And funny story..this is going to make you laugh really hard. I actually tested the whole alarm clock thing and it didn't work, so since it's a small travel alarm clock..I put it in my pillow case!! And it actually worked quite well this morning!! :) Erik, a veces sí, voy a escribir un poco en castellano, pero no mucho porque no quiero serlo molesto para mis lectores. :)

  7. haha yes! way to solve the alarm clock problem. When you get back you won't know what to do without it in your pillowcase!