Greetings from Peru! I (Molly) have taken it upon myself to document the trip as much as possible in a blog so you can all follow along on our adventure! Disclaimer- I don't like to leave anything out so bear with me on the length of posts, I'll be sure to break up the text with lots of pictures. :-)
Rachel, Kelli, Mary Catherine and Molly at the O'Hare Airport, Chicago, IL
The Northwestern Student Academy of Audiology 2015 trip is underway! We traveled from Chicago to Houston Saturday morning and on to Lima, Peru from Houston in the evening. We got held up on the runway in Houston as the crew shifted through all of the bags on the plane to retrieve a bag that was checked but did not have an accompanied passenger. After an hour and a half wait we were on our way!
We arrived in Lima around 12:30 am and were picked up by a driver from Vive Peru who brought us to the Dragonfly Hostel in Miraflores. We settled into our bunk beds around 2:30 am and were all glad to get some much needed sleep.
We woke up around 8:30 and ate bread, jelly and rice puff cereal for breakfast at the hostel. We didn't have a set schedule for the day so we set out to explore the city! We got ready and headed down the street to the Parque de Amor (the love park). The park is centered around a statue of a man and woman embracing each other and has short mosaic walls surrounding it. The park sits high on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and from that view we could see many surfers that looked like ants out in the ocean.
Further down the shore we got in a short work out (jokes) at the outdoor elliptical machine and even saw a skateboarding dog! We finished up our shoreline park tour in the Parque el Faro (lighthouse park) at the original Punta Coles lighthouse that was disassembled and rebuilt in Miraflores in 1973. It is Peru's most visited lighthouse!
We visited Kennedy Park in the heart of Misaflores. The park is named after JFK who had massive aid programs sent to Latin America starting in 1961, including the Peace Corps program who sent individuals as teachers and community builders. What makes the park so prominent today is the abundance of cats! There are many cats throughout the small park, mostly sleeping as cats often do. There are locals who come and feed the cats, and people can be seem holding them in their laps and climbing over the rope fences to pet them. We popped into Parroquia Virgen Milagrosa, a Catholic Church that was holding services, to admire the stained glass and architecture before heading off to the market.
At this point in the trip I dropped my phone in the toilet at Burger King- don't worry, Mom, it still is working just fine. Oops.
We spent some time exploring various shops in the market, admiring the abundance of scarves, silverware and alpaca everything! We're debating buying a 4 foot alpaca statute to sit in the Frances Searle basement for generations of NU students to admire ;-)
We ate lunch at Sangucheria la Lucha, a popular sandwich shop. We feasted on chicharron (fried pork, sweet potatoes, onions) and pollo a la lena (smoked chicken) sandwiches that were the perfect afternoon pick-me-up we needed.
After lunch we headed back to the shoreline, but this time climbed down rustic stairs to the beach (more rocks than sand). There were many surfing vendors who relentlessly tried to get us to attempt surfing but the 64 degree, overcast day did not make getting in the ocean appealing. We ventured out onto the pier where La Rosa restaurant is located and admired the crabs on the rocks and debated if barnacles are plants or animals (we're still not sure, anybody know?)
We stopped into a grocery store to stock up on water and bread and headed back to the hostel briefly. We came upon an outdoor mall that was cut into the side of the cliff and had three levels. The stores were similar to those found in any American mall, along with restaurants like TGIFiday's and Chili's and there was even a bowling alley on the last level. We continued to walk until we ran into the cat park again and decided to head back to the hostel. Rachel and I got churros for the walk, which were the perfect end to the busy day of exploring.