My final trip with ISA was to the rainforest and the Amazon River. While this place was breathtaking and finding words to describe my experience has been tricky, it was also sad because it signified the end of my time in Lima and my time with ISA. Read more
Posts from the ‘Lima’ Category
Lima is a very unique city, and my daily experiences here are very different from my life back in the U.S. From the bus system to the school system, everything presents itself as a new adventure. I have been living in Lima for nearly three and a half months so far, and I have noticed my fair share of differences from my life back in the U.S. Read more
Fast food: a simple word that is mainstream worldwide, but what do we really know and understand about fast food in different cultures? Do they have the same old McDonald’s Big Mac, Taco Bell’s Doritos Loco Taco or Subway’s 5 dollar footlong? In the U.S. fast food could be as simple as grabbing a gas station breakfast burrito or one of the slices of breakfast pizza from the college convenient store before rushing off to class. But what is other countries’ idea of fast food? I do know one thing from all my travels; fast food in different countries changes and the restaurant’s atmosphere and environment change as well. Read more
“When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Well, I wouldn’t claim myself to be in a slump currently. I just got back from a week-long beach vacation. “It was truly needed because I live a tough life,” said no study abroad student ever. But really, if you think about it, we do experience some tough challenges once you get past the glitz and glam of studying abroad. We have willingly said goodbye to our friends and family back home, the comforts of being home and our routines. It is a lot to deal with, especially when you face cultural differences on a daily basis, and sometimes I start to feel homesick. Read more
Well for those who don’t know they play this song in the movie Armageddon and for those who haven’t seen that movie before…you are miss out and I would watch it ASAP if I were you. It is all about how they send some oil drillers up to an asteroid that is heading towards Earth in hopes of stopping it in time. Leading up to my departure for Peru all I could think about was the lyric “I’m leaving on a jet plane and I don’t know when I’ll be back again…” Read more
Although the unemployment rate is pretty high in the city of Lima, that doesn’t affect the cats working at the Kennedy Park in Lima, also often referred to as the “cats park.”
Our last overnight ISA excursion was to Iquitos in the Loreto region of, Peru: home to the Amazon Rainforest. Iquitos is famous for being the largest city in the world that is not accessible by road. The whole weekend was out of a storybook, but the highlight of the trip had to be swimming in the Amazon with the pink dolphins and fishing for piranhas. Read more
The whole month of October Peruvians celebrate “Señor de los Milagros” or in English, Lord of Miracles. It is a religious and cultural celebration like nothing I had ever seen before. In 1746 there was a devastating earthquake in Lima that destroyed the city, and the only thing left standing was a painted mural of Jesus Christ. Sometime after this marvelous occurrence they decreed the month of October a time to commemorate Jesus and all of his miracles. Peruvians participate in the festivities by wearing purple, eating scrumptious turron de Doña Pepa (traditional honey sweets), and most importantly with giant processions down streets.
Hola amigos! I have been living with a host family in bustling Lima, Peru for a little over a month now. Lima is unlike anything I had ever experienced and drastically different from my life in the States. Lima packs in approximately 8 million residents into 43 districts. I think of Lima as the Peruvian version of NYC, including all the taxis, traffic and honking to boot. I’m still adjusting to new lifestyle and the cultural differences, but I am starting to fall in love with Lima. Read more
Looking back on a five-month journey living in a foreign land is nothing to ponder lightly. I feel there is a multitude of areas of the life I lived abroad in need of being addressed, each aspect deserving individual attention. Comparing my more traditional days now to the ones so rich with fresh experience in South America brings out these cultural variances. The content of these realizations continues to linger as valuable even into the current period that has come to be my return to normalcy.
What I currently experience daily cannot be evenly stacked up against the trials and tribulations that formed my existence abroad. But the best way I have learned to curb a consequential sense of desire for my recently concluded life is to train my thoughts and emotions under the notion of gratitude and optimism–seeing my past as an experiential gift for the present, and the way I deal with the present as a quiz for the future.
Even though merely two short months have passed since I have returned to the United States from Lima, Perú, I continually feel the ease at which my experiences abroad can become foggy. This certainly does not reflect the incredible memories I made during my stay in my new favorite country, so I do all that I can to keep Perú in my day-to-day thoughts. Part of this means remembering what I did each day, and focusing on the then seemingly miniscule aspects of my everyday routine. A portion of my education abroad experience was of course maintaining the lifestyle of a college student in a foreign land.
Prior to my stay abroad I had been a consistent performer in my classes and an overall active participant in traditional collegiate level learning. But during my time studying in Lima, I now realize, I went through a mental transition pertaining to my academic self. Even though my classes were stimulating and surely worthwhile, I found much more value in the simple act of going through the motions of life through the lens of and with the norms of a varying society than that of my own. Perú is where I discovered the meaning and importance of experiential learning.
I did not realize this as I was down there, and in fact I feel strongly that being abroad is not about ‘changing oneself’ or ‘growing as a person’ during the actual time of one’s trip. It is about focusing to the best of one’s ability on the matter at hand. Being present is a notion extremely difficult for any human being to grasp, but for small segments of my time in South America I could start to feel myself shift toward this type of mindset.Why should I worry about what has transpired or what is pending to be when there is always something valuable to learn in front of my face? This invisible tweak in the way I viewed school and the overarching scope of my days has seeped into the way I think now; as I refuse to revert to where I was before academically.
I have found in coming back to the states that taking on a renewed identity of a Seattle University student means more to me than it before my trip, as I now feel I have the tools to not only take advantage of what I am learning in the classroom, but to also value the possible attainment of knowledge from life’s simplest nuances. This current reentry period is nothing if not a process, and it will take time for me fully reflect and explore the relationship between my experiences in Perú and their respective applications here at home.