I am staying with a Peruvian family in the Miraflores district of Lima, three blocks away from the school where I will be working as an assistant teacher. After a rather emotional goodbye with my parents at Gatwick, a two hour flight to Madrid followed by a further two hours waiting around trying to spot Peruvians at the airport, twelve hours over night on an AirEuropa flight accompanied solely by ‘Cowgirls ‘n Angels Dakota’s Summer’ (don’t look it up) and my batty, but charming Peruvian neighbour, I finally arrived at Lima Airport to greet the driver sent by the school – despite the poor entertainment selection it all ran rather smoothly.
What struck me first as we pulled out of the airport making amicable conversation in Spanish, was a large mural that spanned the the street coming out of Callao. It depicted a long line of arms of different skin tones intertwined with one another, framing various scenes from landmarks around the world. While I’m sure the piece was strategically placed, it felt welcoming and gave the idea that amid the bright colours, crumbling buildings and packed out buses, Lima is a place for everyone.
One of the other assistant teachers who I have been speaking to over the past couple of months met me outside my flat and we went for a wander for some lunch at a place called La Lucha at Parque Kennedy. I had what Mary had, which was a pork, sweet potato and onion sandwich with a pineapple juice. It was delicious, I feel like I’m going to like the food here, something which is very important as I can’t go ten minutes without thinking about my next meal.
Although it’s winter here and the weather is generally humid, misty and grey due to the Humbolt current as my host explained to me this morning, the sun came out for us this afternoon as we walked along the coastal road to Barranco, the next district over, for a beer. People were paragliding off the coast, lounging in the sun and skateboarding along the path. Mary explained lots more about the school and all the opportunities there and I’ve decided that I would like to help in Spanish, English and Art classes, as well as joining in the surfing lessons on a Tuesday afternoon. There is a wealth of things for me to do here in Lima above and beyond my Third Space toolbox and I fully intend on making the most of my time in South America.
My first impression of lima has been really fantastic, the range of architecture, people and lifestyles in fascinating, my spanish is holding up well and I can’t wait to start finding and exploring my own place here.