Unfortunately this is the second time I’ve written this blog as the website did not save it, so here we go again… We are about to leave Arequipa (literally in a matter of hours) for Iquitos, where we will be spending the main block of our time. Before we go though, we wanted to share a few things about our time here and why we’re going to miss it so much.
Average day in Arequipa
We would usually get up around 7 for breakfast at 7:30. Classes started at 8:30 so we would attempt daily to leave at 8. We had two classes everyday. Firstly, practical which was mostly learning vocabulary and phases. This involved a lot of talking about our family and friends in Spanish. Our second lesson was grammar which mainly involved learning how Spanish verbs work. Verbs are the basis of the language so understanding them is key to learning the language.
After the walk home from school. As the good students we are, we would get straight down to homework. Lunch (the main meal of the day) was at 2. In the afternoons we tried to explore as much of the city as possible. From, museums to malls, shops to pretty streets, parks and markets. And a lot of coffee shops, mmmmmm.
In the evenings we tended to relax and watch a film or programme and do our daily devotion on the roof.
Friday 1st November is a national holiday here so lessons were not on, however the school did run a trip to the salt flats. This involved driving over a mountain to get to the flats near the top. The salt flats become a lake in the rainy season and this is when the flamingos migrate to the salt lake to breed.
It was fascinating to see such a vast expanse and even a few eager flamingos who’d arrived early. The journey itself was just as interesting, we managed to spot some Vicuñas, which are a type of wild alpaca and produce the most expensive wool in the world. There were obviously many incredible views from and of the mountains too. It was a blessing to have had the chance to see awesome and to get to know some of our fellow students a bit better too.
Cañon del Colca
On one of our weekends off we travelled to the highly recommended Colca Canyon. This tourist spot and historically important site was beautiful. There were incredible views, relaxing hot springs, graceful condors and magnificent locals. Over the two days we broke many personal records, most notably seeing an active volcano, trying alpaca meat for the first time and reaching 16000ft in altitude. We truly loved the experience and the chance to do something touristy, we loved it so much.
Fun Facts about Peru
1. Toilet paper is not put in the toilet here, instead we have to put the used paper in the bin. This sounds quite funny but trust me the novelty wears off quickly.
2. Many houses have rebar sticking out of the top of them. This is because people build layers of their house as and when they can afford too. It also makes for some interesting architecture.
3. If someone moves to an empty plot of land and manages to stay there for 30 days the government will give them the rights to the land. In order to make this possible people club together in the hundreds to take over large areas of land together.
4. Silver is actually quite cheap here whereas Gold is extremely expensive (not sure why we know this but we do).
The weirdest things we’ve missed so far
Sophie – Crumpets, I’ve been wanting one since we got here.
Erin – Cereal, I haven’t had a bowl of cereal since we got here.
Jacob – Autumn, my favourite season and it’s vastly different from the climate here in Arequipa. We are yet to experience rain in Peru (not for long though, as our next stop is the rainforest).
Paddington – I miss Richard (Bestie) and Jacob says he’s weird so does that count?
All of the answers will either be, Sophie, Erin, Jacob or Paddington. Give it a go and send us the answers in a comment or message us. The answers will be in our next blog (assuming I remember) or on our Instagram story at some point (again, assuming I remember).
- Who brought the most amount of shoes with them?
- Who brought 240 tea bags with them?
- Who has collected the little packets which the tea bags come in?
- Who has skipped the most lessons in school?
- Who doesn’t like bananas?
- Who’s done the most haggling?
For safe travel on our journey to Iquitos.
For the holiday club we will be running in a week.
For the Mahons, who having never met us have agreed to house us and oversee our work for the next 4 and a half months. They’re going to need all the prayer they can get.
For our families and friends, who have supported us. That they may feel peace in the times when they miss or need us.
We want to thank God for giving us this time in Arequipa. Time to learn the language, to meet wonderful people, to embrace the culture and learn some of the history. But most of all for the family we have lived with this past month, their kindness, compassion, patience, love for God and cooking skills. They have been so great to us.
Feel free to pop questions in the comments and we look forward to letting you know what we get up to next.
Keep in contact
YouTube – PlumJam Productions
(PS. embrace the chaos)