Arriving in Peru
I landed in Lima after about a 6 hour flight around 10:30pm. It seems that all flights into Peru arrive in the evening which makes customs and security a handful. After about an hour and a half of waiting in line, I was greeted at the exit by one of my relatives, Reverend Gerry Desmond. He is 67 years old and is the cousin of my Grandmother. A sibling of 10 from Ireland, he has travelled the world, preaching, building chapels, and has been in Peru since 1996.
We are looking around the parking lot for his car and he tells me it is a Volkswagen Beetle. I’m looking for one of the newer ones that you see in the states, and think to myself “kind of a girly car.. but hey, he’s probably rational with his purchases and its fuel efficient and small to get around town” NOPE. this thing was straight up old school beetle. Rough around the edges, nothing power or electrical at all, pure old school. I can dig it.
Driving through the city I had no idea where we were headed, all I knew is I was scared in this death trap I was in. Drivers are maniacs and Gerry descried it as “playing a game of chicken”, people drive aggressively. The city is dirty and there are people all over the place, roads are terrible. But I can’t put too much of value in this as it was late, and I was very tired from traveling all day, I needed to see it in the light. After we got to Gerry’s place we had 2 shots of Paddy’s Whiskey (sipped the shots) and went to bed.
I woke up the next morning and explored the house in the light. As I expected, kind of dirty but nothing I haven’t seen before, or lived in. The guy is a bachelor and living in Peru, what are you goin’ to do? Structurally everything is made out of concrete, which I will soon find out is the only way to build something here. Different levels(about 3-4 steps) divide the rooms that were built on after the main structure. Homes are build on a foundation(not a very deep one) but are built with extra long rebar. The main structure then acts as the main unit for any additions that need to be built later on. The roof acts as the second floor, walls half built, usually acting as a sitting place or a place to hang laundry out to dry. When they are ready to close in the second floor, some concrete, blocks, and rebar.. and up it goes, the second floor roof now acts as the base for the third floor… so on and so forth.
We head out to a chapel where a festival is underway in honor of a saint. The remains are on display and the place is packed. The chapel sits at the base of many hills, which I find out later are EVERYWHERE, and the service takes place outside on a stage. They have amusements for children, and vendors walking around.
Finally getting a look at the culture you can see how and where they live. The place is very dirty on the outside from all the sand and grit in the air. But inside the places are very nice, nice architecture and depending on where you are nice furniture. Don’t get me wrong, some of these places are awful, but there are roses among the thorns.
We head back home, I work on my websites, Gerry heads to a confirmation course down the road. I head down to the course after it is done and meet all the students. They act a little immature as I guess they are not used to seeing an American. One of them speaks English and starts relaying questions all of them are asking me. What type of music I like, what is my favorite food, etc. That end and I leave the girls giggling in the class when I kiss one on the cheek.
Gerry and I finish the night with some football and a few more shots of Paddy’s Whiskey.