Everyone was up by 10AM and in good spirits. This was a gift from the LORD. Our kids were up for nearly 21 hours straight to get down here. Persevering grace was evident in all our lives. This was nice.
We were out of the apartment by 11AM and headed toward the beach. The first thing we saw was a double-decker bus carrying a group of singers and dancers through the tight streets, waving to everyone. They ended up at the cliffs that butted up to the Pacific Ocean putting on a dance for everyone. David and Mary said it may have been a young lady celebrating her fifteen birthday. It was nice, festive, and latin.
From there we made our way down to a plaza to eat lunch. There was an Americanized plaza with Starbucks and a few other world names. Plus wifi, praise God. We ate at this nice restaurant that served us Peruvian dishes–sandwiches mostly.
We spent the rest of the day shopping in flea market type venues, though they were different from what we’re used to in the states–not as tacky. They all ran along the same theme–seen one, you seen them all. Lots of wool. Wool is their thing, particularly Alpaca wool. As you go through the markets the folks are nice, but persistent in trying to sell you something. Negotiating is easy because they are willing to drop their prices quickly.
I found negotiating a bit humorous. They have been trained to negotiate down, which left you with a spirit of desperation on their part. Add in their persistence in getting you to buy something, which was a notch above begging, you were left with a stark contrast between our two lives.
What they did not know is I was not interested in negotiating down. Knowing what something costs and hearing their price was enough. I wanted to pay their price. When I consider God’s mercy on me to allow me to live in America, with a standard of living that is exponentially higher than theirs, to haggle over a dollar or two, or even five seemed a bit selfish. I felt sorry for them. As long as they weren’t ripping me off, it was a joy to give them money.
I compared the money given to them versus the things we were buying and it was evident that what we got and what they got were apples and oranges. The money to them was more valuable than the non-essential things we bought. Money helped them survive. What we bought were things to say, “We went to Peru.”
We bought a couple of small things for the kids. We also bought from the street venders. I got the kids three blow pops and we all had Inca Cola, the brand of the country. The food market was exceptionally instructive as far as how folks lived. It was not a particularly sad place, but they do enjoy a standard of living different from us.
In one market we saw how the chicken and fish were made to order. The wafting of the odors was pungent, but tolerable. We also got a corn tamale, which was pretty good.
We walked a lot. This was good due to all the sitting and an inability to run (exercise) due to time constraints. We hopped a taxi back to the apartment because we all were ready to stop. It was a compact car. Mary, Lucia, Ansa, me, Haydn, and Tristen sat in the back. David and the driver were in the front. That was a memory.
Haydn likes Peru–no seat belts. I like it too.
It did remind me of last night going from the airport to the apartment. In that 30 minute drive we never stopped at a traffic light on one of the busiest streets in Lima. I’m not sure of the purposes of traffic lights. Drivers do adhere to them, somewhat. Then again, there is a free-for-all-spirit.
We hit the Pacific Ocean around 5:30PM. The waves were beautifully crashing. The shores were all small rocks–the round gray/black/brown type. No sand. It was different. You couldn’t enjoy the beaches the way you do at the Atlantic. The temperature was perfect. The people are pleasant. The day was wonderful.
The one highlight was getting locked in the bathroom at the apartment. I went in and locked the door. For some reason the door lock broke or disengaged in some way. I was locked in and the door would not operate the latch from the outside or the inside. It took about forty-five minutes with David, Haydn, and me working the lock. We ended up destroying the handle. They were able to pass me a screwdriver and knife through the handle hole, after the knob was removed. I knocked the hinge bolts out and we took the door off. Whew!
After the beach, we met David and Mary at Starbucks (rendezvous) and then found a restaurant to eat. It was good. All the food was good. We probably talked for three or more hours. That was great. The kids colored and entertained themselves, which gave us some solid time to build together.
We walked back to the apartment, showered and readied ourselves for bed after we packed and prepared for the 5:30AM taxi back to the airport to fly out to Pucallpa. It’s 12:30AM. Kids are down. Our week is about to being…