Day three started a bit late for me, 8:30 AM I rolled out of bed and showered before heading to breakfast. I found that my host family was already waiting for me, so I felt just a slight bit rude, but I was exhausted. I found a spread set out for me of Eggs (with cheese, peppers and mushrooms), a large fruit bowl and a juice made from a fruit called Lucuma but mixed with milk and a few other substances making it taste like an amazing milk shake. I met a new friend Gulliver, who would take me around the city for a morning tour, as my host family had a wedding to attend. Gulliver and I made our way all over the city, where he taught me some Spanish, which he told me would be a requirement that I must speak before I leave. My favorite section of the city was one called Mira Flores, which Gulliver told me was catered more to tourists, but I still really liked the feel that it had, vibrant and full of life.
Gulliver said it was now necessary that I experience what he called the Beverly Hills of Lima. We got in a taxi, and he took me to the shore, to an area full of amazing shops and amazing views. We stood on the observation deck and watch the surfers get up on top of their waves and ride in as well as the waves crashing the beach. The beach had a different feel that that of what I was used to. There was sand, but before that, a section of the entire shoreline had ten feet or more of black, volcanic looking stone. The shore was also very raised, which was very reminiscent of Irelands’ Cliffs of Mohr, many tens of feet above the ground.
Gulliver and I made our way back to my host family’s home, after a walk, which he claims, more than fifty blocks. I got changed and it was time for us to meet the rest of the Rotary group, as well as the Peruvian GSE team on their way out. I like to think I am someone good with names, but I was inundated with so many, I can’t say I remember everyone’s name, but I did my best. We had an amazing lunch chicken stuffed bacon and spinach, all while Governor Carlos addressed the crowd. He was very welcoming to everyone, and asked that the incoming and outgoing teams all quickly introduce themselves. Next, he explained about a major project that the district would be sponsoring, to the tune of $31,000, to be matched by our NJ district. He explained that more about this project would come during the week, as Grace Do, from our team, would help him with the selection of the project.
Next, we went as a group, back to the outdoor mall by the ocean, where Gulliver and I had been the previously that morning. As with large groups, we could not quite decide what we wanted to do, and ended up sitting and chatting for a few hours, which was nice. Also, an amazing thing happened: I HAD WIFI! My tech banishment ended for a bit, and I was able to catch up on some business emails as well as to call my parents using the VIBER app on my iPhone.
We took a taxi back to my host home, and I had my first experience cooking in my new surroundings. I made my typical meal of eggs, peppers, onions and a side of rice. I finished cleaning the dished just in time, as my ride to go the bar arrived. We were going to a bar called Ayahuasca, which turned out to be one of the coolest bars I have ever been to. Our whole team showed up, as we were being shown a night out by the outgoing team; it was nice to have people that new their way around the youth scene.
Ayahuasca was three floors, a bar as well as being a restaurant, but decorated in a very hip fashion; walls covered with magazines and other objects such as random hay bales. It had a nice scene, as it was one of the only bars I’ve ever been to that you can actually hold a conversation in; nice for team building. In my line of work, I build teams on a daily basis, so I am familiar with just how important it is to really build a group out of our team, rather than bunch of individuals. I must say, we really have meshed well, and I am excited for the next month with this group.
We finished the night by going to a club, to see an artist playing drums to many different types of club songs. Hank was very excited that he met a Peruvian Congressmen in the club and quickly introduced himself. We ended our night around two and finally wen home for bed. I am quickly learning that there is so much to do in Peru that one does not really sleep much.