Saturday, June 29, 2013

Walks and water

                Although I have been in Lima for almost four months now, I still have much of the city to see. This past week I was able to get to explore a bit more going on a long walk by the beach and going to the Circuito Mágico de las Aguas (Magical Water Circuit), two distinctively limeñan attractions. As the weeks are coming to a close, I am beginning to realize how much I still have to see and do here yet how little time left there is to fit it all in. I guess I’ll just have to come back.
                Last Sunday the young adults from my church here embarked on the ambitious walk from our church all the way to Larcomar, a journey of about 11 kilometers along the cliff that presides over the beachfront. Before we left, we ate lunch together that we had prepared as a group. Finally, I got a lesson in Peruvian cooking! I learned how to make papa a la huancaína—a savory dish of boiled potato covered in a orange pepper and cheese sauce—and tallerines rojos, which is basically the Peruvian version of spaghetti with meat sauce. Helping prepare the lunch reminded me of my love for cooking; I adore the idea of taking basic ingredients and from them creating something greater than the sum of the individual elements themselves. You are taking this gift of food and making something that will not only sustain life, but at its very essence is life.

papa a la huancaina on our plates. yum!
                With full stomachs, we set out on that chilly winter day. The clouded-white sky, a ceiling, flat and calm. The streets were unusually quiet as we headed towards the “costa verde” (green coast). Once we got to the path along the cliff-tops, it was almost a direct journey from there to Larcomar. We meandered along besides the vivid green grass all the while admiring the powerful rolling waves of the Pacific. There’s something mystical about the ocean; its vastness can never be known, every tide whispers the secrets of the deep.

it was a typical misty, winter day

                Better than the walk itself, though, was the company. I had the wonderful blessing to get to know the other young adults in my church, which I found only just recently. They told me stories of their childhoods, histories of Peru, jokes about animals. More than that, they had unending patience with my broken Spanish. Communities that quickly welcome people so openly and without judgment, like they have done for me, are rare, and when I come across them, I cannot help but get excited. It’s beautiful to see how God is working through people, and I am blessed to be a part of this loving group of people.

the group!

                Later on this week, with some other international students, I went to what we call Parque de las Aguas (Park of Water), which is a park full of fountains right next to the soccer stadium. Although we arrived only an hour before it closed, we enjoyed the fairytale atmosphere while we posed for silly pictures by the gushing water. Seeing the lights change the waters colors and the fountains themselves changing their patterns of water spouting was like watching a waltz of water. Truly magical! It only takes simple things, light and water. And with a bit of creativity, look at the wonders you can accomplish. You might have to look a bit sometimes, but if you try, you can always find the beauty wherever you are.

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