Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Have you ever felt so blessed that you just cannot stop smiling? This week I have had so many of those moments; I have un sinfín (an endless amount; literally “without end”) to be grateful for.
As I view relationships to be at the core of humanity, I give thanks for the many beautiful conversations I’ve had with some very special people this week—Americans, Peruvians, Internationals, friends and family. God has blessed me with some amazing people in my life.
Moreover, I was able to get all of the classes I wanted despite the disorganized system. We arrived at the school at 6:20am to get a favorable spot in line for the first-come first-serve matriculation process. After an hour of waiting, we received a number. And after another 2 hours of waiting, we were herded into waiting rooms where we waited at least another hour. With everyone stressed about the possibility of there not being enough space in the classes they wanted to register for, the anxiety increased when the organizers essentially nullified the number system by calling people to register based upon faculty (or specialty school) instead of by their number. I was lucky that my classes still had space by the time I arrived at the front of the line, but many others were not as fortunate. Breathing easily now, I can smile at that gift.
Another happiness was this weekend! Time was well spent with our Peruvian architect friends, eating dinner with them and laughing until our faces hurt. Also, Friday night was “El Clásico,” the rival game between Peru and its arch-nemesis Chile, which every Peruvian told me that we were going to lose because that always happens. Nonetheless, the country was glued to the game, rooting for not only for its team to win a soccer match, but also hoping for the glory of defeating its most hated rival. And to everyone’s surprise and great happiness, Peru won! What a celebration!
The next evening I went to a fiesta thrown by our Mexican friends for many of us international students. They grilled and prepared Mexican food for us, taught us their party traditions, and introduced us to their style of dancing. To keep the fun going, we went to a discoteca by the beach to dance through the night. Since I and many others had only planned on going to the cook-out, we were dressed very casually in comparison to the long line of Peruvians in their nice suits, dresses, and high heels waiting outside the club. I thought there was no way they would let us in because discotecas here often require a minimum level of dressiness. But one of the people in our group had a connection at the club, so we said his name, bypassed the line completely, and went into the club way underdressed. It felt like something in a movie. And then we danced! ¡Hola salsa! Swirling lights, swirling songs, swirling bodies. So much fun!
After the weekend fun, I have been trying to finally get more settled now that I have a fixed class schedule. Part of the fun of being at a different university is seeking out a niche, that corner of campus where you can think and read and study without distraction, that little place you make your home during the day. I still haven’t found my definite niche yet, but I have some ideas. Here are some photos of campus, a well-groomed oasis amid a noisy city.

The main entrance, as seen from inside the university

"El tontondromo" is this pathway. It's name is based on "tonto" ("stupid") because it is the main path where people walk when they aren't in class, so they're passing time not doing anything, not using their brains.

The chapel on campus

The view from the top of my faculty; partly campus, partly Lima, mountains in the background.

The courtyard of my main facutly, "Letras y Ciencias Humanas"

Un "Bambi"

This building is the"Tinkuy," which means "to get together" in Quechua.
A possible niche...

"The poetry of the earth is never dead." ~John Keats
A beautiful sunset for students to admire

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