May 12, 2014

Getting oriented to Peru SST

The Peru Study-Service Term group spent their first night in the Cirque Hostel, just a few blocks from Casa Goshen in the San Isidro district of Lima. Luckily the hostel did not live up to its name and was quiet and peaceful. The students reported getting a good night’s sleep and were ready to go for a full day of orientation on May 1, their first full day in Peru.

Students enjoy breakfast at Casa Goshen.

Students enjoy breakfast at Casa Goshen.

The morning included introductions, worship time and working through the orientation handbook with Peru SST Co-Directors Judy Weaver and Richard R. Aguirre. At lunch time, we strolled to a beachside park, just a few blocks from Casa Goshen. We descended a path from the top of the cliff to take in the magnificence of the Pacific Ocean. A few students got a caught with splashes from unexpected waves. Then we climbed back up to the park to enjoy a picnic lunch and some activities to get to know each other better.  It was a cloudy day with temperatures in the low 70s, typical of this time of year in Lima.

A wave surprises Sierra and Edith.

A wave surprises Sierra and Edith.

In the afternoon, Alicia Taipe Tello, who cooks lunches for the group twice a week, gave us a delicious fruit-tasting demonstration. Afterward, Richard gave an illustrated presentation about Peru’s gastronomy. Then we took a walk to the Ovalo Gutierrez, a large traffic circle surrounded by stores, restaurants and a big Catholic church. The students will spend a lot of time walking in that area, near to the Buen Pastor church where we meet for classes.

Edith, Leah, Miranda, Alejandro and Michael take photos of Peruvian fruit.

Edith, Leah, Miranda, Alejandro and Michael take photos of Peruvian fruit.

Our Lima study coordinator, Celia Vasquez, met us at the Ovalo to talk with students about how to navigate Lima’s sprawling public transportation system. After taking the traditional first-day photo, we returned to Casa Goshen for a delicious dinner of chicken, rice and vegetables, with mango-passion fruit juice.

Students pause for a group photo at the Ovalo Gutierrez.

Students pause for a group photo at the Ovalo Gutierrez.

After dinner, Celia taught us how to greet people, Peruvian style – preparation for meeting the host families. Finally, students received their first assignments and a big pile of books and headed back to the hostel for the night. It was a fun and rewarding day.

– By Judy Weaver

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