Lima Diaries: Killing Time.

September 17, 2012

A visit to a lighthouse.

The familiar comfort of watching surfing.

Lazy naps in the park waiting for the wind to pick up.

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Lima Diaries: Lima Loves Lo.

September 15, 2012

The good life.

Before and after I arrived in Peru, I heard many less than positive opinions regarding the city of Lima. The dismal weather, a thick smog layer, and its lack of interesting draws as compared to other Peruvian cities were just some of the noted drawbacks.

What those individuals did not understand was that I was coming from Paraguay.

I’ve been giddily reveling in the gloomy overcast days, nippy with the occasional sharp wind, and breathing deep the air that smells to me not of pollution but of delicious sea salt. I have been celebrating spicy hot aji sauce accompanying every meal already vibrant with flavor. And I actually went into such reverse culture shock upon touring the grocery store here, that my friend G had to quickly usher me home on the first day. So. Many. Available. Products!!!

I have also been staying in a house that is, by my current standards, qualifying of luxury vacation digs (and free of uninvited guests like mice, lizards, and cockroaches), and I have been surrounded all week by fun-loving young adults my age who are neither all dating each other nor married (and with no children to boot).

Additionally, since G is here, I’ve had the privilege of just following him around all week. It is so relaxing not worrying about where we need to go or how to get there. And though we have been taking every mode of wild Latin American public transportation possible, I have not had a single moment of feeling unsafe, tense, or paranoid.

Most significantly, there is a BEACH here! Miles of coastline caressed by the faithful lapping of the blue Pacific and surfers everywhere. It is like a vacation paradise and a warm hug from home all rolled into one sweet week of familiar comforts and sheer relief. Lima has been good to me.

Loading a board in a JEEP!

Braving the water without a wetsuit.

Displeased about the frigid temps.

Behold! Protective gear (and a buddy).

Small reminders of home.

January 25, 2012

When I was a graduating senior in high school, I wallowed in despair that I was moving on to UCSD. I thought it was my worst nightmare school because I desperately wanted to get the heck out of San Diego. I loathed the fact that I was effectively being sentenced to stew there for at least four more years. People tried to comfort me by saying stupid things like, “You’re probably going to meet your future husband there or something.”

Naturally, God chuckled to himself and despite my sour attitude, blessed me with some of my best years so far. And yes, someone I can very well see myself spending the rest of my life with too.

Of course, now, as what I am sure is a bit of penance for my adolescent brattiness, San Diego is what I so wretchedly miss most. Gloomy mornings taking dawn patrol and sitting on the beach huddled under a hoodie, searching out my favorite surfer amidst a sea of waves and boards haunt me constantly. I ache for it. And especially in this season of inane heat, I miss it terribly.

In Spain, whenever I felt overwhelmingly far from home, I’d take the early morning train to Sitges, walk out on the jetty, sit for hours listening to the lapping waves surrounding me, and feel completely refreshed. Here in Asuncion, there is nothing of the sort. Not even a remote substitution for sea breeze or seashore.

But this morning, for thirty brief minutes, the sky was miraculously overcast and a surprisingly crisp breeze blew authoritatively through my kitchen window. I slid the glass as far open as it would go, and a glorious gust of wind ruffled my hair and billowed through my t-shirt. There are no words to describe how wonderful it felt, despite the pangs of homesickness that rippled sharply through my insides.

In some strange way, it was a glimmer of home and a taste of every last thing I long for in San Diego. I drank it in thirstily, and sent up a thousand prayers of deep gratitude for that small snatch of time and space the fed right into my soul.

Thank you, Jesus, for this morning. I needed it.