Monday, March 8, 2010

Ben's Peru Blog Adventure

So, I think the first thing I should do here is credit Christine for convincing me to write this blog. Without her help I would most likely be doing something far less productive.

Here is a picture of Christine I took on the day that I left. Christine is very photogenic and I think that she looks lovely in this picture, but she will most likely protest.

Just to even things up a bit I would also like to include this picture of Christine which some may consider more flattering. It is from when she went to Costa Rica and she is wearing her red dress which I like but she refuses to wear on the grounds that I do not take her anywhere fancy enough. She looks lovely as you can plainly see:

The preparation for this trip was pretty lenghty in terms of what it took to organize the grant, school credits, accomodations, etc., but the packing before hand was pretty straightforward. I have learned from traveling places in the past that I hate having loads of extra stuff that I do not need. When I moved to Spain I took a guitar in a cas, a full sized lap top, a giant duffel bag of clothes, 300 or so cd's and various other garbage below that I did not need. Below is the single suit case I took with about 2 weeks worth of clothes. Wally is included because he wanted to come with and he provides a certain scale for judging the size of the suit case. So, one Cocker Spaniel sized suit case, a backpack with a ten inch laptop and a jacket were my only luggage.

Lady wanted to come to, but was totally unwilling to be coaxed into this suitcase, even for food...

In any case, I feel that I should provide a brief explanation of what I am doing here, although, Christine may be the only person who reads this blog, in which case she will find this both redundant and unexciting. For those of you who are not her, this blog has come about as a result of the fact that I have signed on for a semester of study at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima. I am taking 15 credits of classes to finish my undergraduate degree in spanish at NIU. In addition to that I received a USOAR grant from NIU to do a project related to linguistic issues in Lima, specifically, the attitudes of people who are experiencing a shift from the indigenous language of Quechua to Spanish. This project is not very organized yet and most of you will not be interested in the details. My real aim here is not to bore your face off with the particulars of my classes, but to regail you with the details of the city of Lima, the rest of Peru and my various extracurricular adventures therein.

Let me start off this first post by putting up some pictures of my first week here. Truth be told I haven't done anything terribly exciting, but the city and the people here have been really great and hopefully that will come through.

Here we go:

This picture is of the patio of the house here where I am staying. The patio is very nice and there is a lovely view of a park below. The house itself is great, better than I expected in fact. The cost for a month is a little less than $200 USD and for the most part it is clean, well lit, and ideal for a student, especially since it is about four blocks from the university here.

This my bedroom. I take care of all my important business here. I sleep in that bed, I sit at that desk, I occasionally eat there too. No complaints about the room. It also has a lovely view of the park.

For this first introductory post I will leave you with the view of the park, city and mountains from my bedroom window. As this thing progresses I will start to cover my day to day experiences that pique my interest. Next time I have pictures and stories about the local bars, public transportation, and the zoo! That's right, sea lions! Also, I just wanted to tell Christine that I miss her and that I will talk to her soon. Love you, bye...


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  2. Oh yay! I'm so excited that your blogging! I wish I would have kept a blog when I was in Costa Rica! I'm so excited for you! I can't wait to hear about your cultural experiences around Lima! Don't forget to include stuff about the climate and the beach.

    What is one thing that you didn't bring with you that you really wish you had?

    What is one thing that you wish you would have left at home?

  3. Great blog...thanks for getting him to do this Christine....I will certainly your mommy

  4. I havent really brought anything I wish I would have left. I did have to go buy two shirts, but stuff is cheap here. I bought two t shirts in the most expensive shopping center in Lima and they were $25 for both! I do wish I brought more shorts, it is hotter than I thought, but it getting colder here since they are going into winter (I think about 55 degrees is as cold as it gets).

  5. I have to say, I am interested in your grant! It sounds fascinating. However, I am a nerd. Hope all is well!


  6. Noice. I take it a netbook is all that you needed, eh?

    Get a bike, asap. Unless traveling by taxi is where your preferences really lie in.

    How is the public transport out there?

  7. Venga, lovely blog, un poco de español por aquí.
    Let's see how long you last. Remember that pictures of Christine in red dresses would be a valid alternative to your hypothetical lack of ideas.
    Seguiremos a la escucha. Pásalo bien, muchacho.

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  9. Oooh I didn't know there was any other city worse than New Delhi, pollution wise. Berk. Nice pictures Ben!


  10. yeah im not sure if its worse then Delhi in polltution. Someone told me that they dont regulate fuel emissions here so I think that contributes, but I dont know exactly where it ranks...