We arrived in Trujillo, Peru this morning around 6:20 am after a 8 hour bus ride. Trujillo is the second most populated metropolitan area in Peru. The bus was nice, the seats were comfortable and recline almost 160 degrees back which made sleeping easy (relatively speaking.) They played an American movie with English subtitles and served chicken salad sandwiches, a muffin and a dessert roll as a late night snack. The title of today's post is carbs, carbs, carbs because we certainly are eating our fair share of them (as noted in the three carb combo served on the bus.)
Claudia from Vive Peru picked us up from the bus station and hailed us a cab to our host family's home. We are staying with Senorita Mercy and her son, Jose David (6). We opted to start the day with a breakfast of bread, scrambled eggs, avacados and papaya. Mercy's husband is an organic coffee farmer so we are going to be well caffeinated on this trip! We gave Mercy Garrett's popcorn (Chicago mix, of course) as a token of gratitude representative of where we come from.
We got settled into our rooms, unpacked and the other three girls took a nap while I got the blog set up. The sun came out, which was a nice surprise and it got surprisingly warm. I went for a quick run (attempting to keep up with the marathon training!) while Kelli and Rachel ventured out to stock up on toilet paper (it's a byo-TP situation around here.)
Lunch was a vegetable soup, shredded chicken in a cream sauce served over potatoes with a side of white rice and mandarian oranges. (Do you see those carbs coming into play again?) It was delicious and filling. The main meal of the day here is often lunch, though the two students from Vive Peru who are staying at our house informed us that every meal is pretty big. We spent time on the patio taking in the sunshine before heading off to orientation.
Mercy escorted us to the Vive Peru office where we had orientation with Claudia and Fantasia. We learned about Peruvian customs, currency, safety, rules and went over our itinerary for our time here. We then traveled with Fantasia to the Historic Center of Trujillo. At the heart of the center is the Plaza de Armas, or main square. In 1820, this plaza was the location of the declaration of independence of Trujillo. This is commemorated by the Freedom Monument that the plaza is built around. To the Northeast of the plaza is the Trujillo Catherdral and the Archdiocese of Trujillo. To the south of the plaza is Palace of City Government on Francisco Pizarro Street. The Palace was previously painted blue to represent the current political party in power, but is now back to it's original red color. We ended our short walking tour at the Museum of Casa de la Emancipacion, housed in a beautiful restored mansion.
We stopped for coffee at La Llave (Key) cafe on the square and enjoyed coffee and papaya juice (that Mary Catherine reported tasted an awfu lot like orange juice....)
Kelli has set a goal of photographing all the different colors of VW bugs that are all over the city; we've seen the full color spectrum including a bronze one!
We came back to the house for a dinner of spaghetti noodles with sausage, carrots, peas, red peppers and a slightly spicy sauce. We had adorable little peaches for dessert while Kelli, Mercy and the students (Jordan and Polina) had tea. We sat at the table for awhile while those who speak Spanish fluently conversed. Mercy talks very fast and is hard to keep up with, but I'm slowly starting to piece more and more together (as long as I've got the topic of conversation).
There is currently no wifi connection, so this blog will have to be posted tomorrow! We are spending the night blogging, reading and getting to bed early. We start a long day of planning and Spanish practice for the school presentations and professionals seminar tomorrow.