Friday, August 3, 2012

Things: Part II

This is the second installment of a 3-part series:
1.  Things I Miss
2.  Things that are better (so far) than in the USA
3.  Things that are different, or that I have yet to understand

Let's see how these evolve over the next year.

Things that are better (so far) than in the USA....

Fresh squeezed orange juice
There is no comparison.  In the grocery stores, there are sections where they squeeze the fruit (pineapple, oranges, nectarines, you name it) right in front of you and bottle it up.  Dee-lish.  Over the weekend, a farmer I visited actually cut the top off the orange for me and I sucked the juice out.  The oranges are better here, period. 

Walking or biking to the grocery store.  
It's so close!  I love this convenience! This is mostly because of where we live, but I am loving it.

Parks everywhere!  And there is one right by our house.
This is especially awesome for Davis.  One day, he spent 5 hours in the park.  It is safe, there are guards outside of it, other kids are everywhere and he can just run and play to his heart's desire.  He has made lots of new friends like this and even has "dates" set.  Last Thursday, he had a date to meet his friend at 1:17.  And it is helping him learn Spanish.

The math curriculum in the schools is better than the USA
The USA might have more gold medals, but sorry, Peru has you beat on this playing field.  Davis, as a second grader here, will be learning math skills three levels above most second graders in the USA.  I'm not sure if this is because his school is private, but it doesn't matter.  Boo-yah!

An abundance of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables
I've touched on this before, but it is just so different here!  I challenge any person in Little Rock to go to any grocery store and buy any produce actually grown in Little Rock or surrounding areas (except for the farmers market once a week in NLR).  But here, it's every day.  Everywhere.  All the time. 
I realize that some of you might take me up on this challenge, so to up the stakes, fill your grocery cart full of produce of multiple varieties, then we'll talk.  One tomato from Warren doesn't count.

Not paying for gas
I know that in my last post I mentioned that I miss my car, and I do.  But having to pay over $3.00 for gas, is not something I miss.  I can pay about $.80 a day to get to and from to work if I use the bus. 

No tornadoes

At night, it is quiet
Relatively.  Almost 10 million people live in Lima.  And no one has air conditioners or heaters so everyone's windows are usually open.  And when I go to bed at night, I can't hear a thing.  Maybe this is because of where I live.  But I find it amazing that it is as quiet here as it is in Redfield at my parent's house (in the middle of nowhere.)

People just do what they gotta do
I'm really not sure how to explain this.  And not that people don't in the USA, but people here work HARD.  Tired?  Frustrated?  Angry?  Not in the mood?  Who cares.  Get over it.  Get the work done.  I have seen people literally walking that extra mile to get whatever needs to be done, done.  This is expressed in the country office and in the communities I've visited.   And maybe it is just because there are much fewer conveniences, but there is a different mentality here.  I am sure I'll elaborate more on this later.

Nice people
(this isn't really different from the USA, but it is)
People are nice in every country, but Peruvians have a beautiful quality about them that I haven't observed in other places.  They want to help.  Have you ever been in a taxi and the driver gives you his name and number and tells you where he lives and the names and ages of his children and his life story and offers to help you with anything you need?  And then he tells you that you are lovely.  I have.  Dozens of times.  (Don't fret, mom.  I don't give them my personal information.)  This obviously doesn't happen with every taxi ride, but it has happened often. People here are just nice.
And flattery is the best way to communicate with me in general.  :-) 

And since I've only been here for 3 weeks, this is what I've got for now.  I know this will evolve and expand.

More to come....


  1. When we first moved to Dublin, I got all worried because I couldn't find any hormone free milk or meats and there was nothing like a Whole Foods anywhere...and then, the happy day when I discovered ALL the milk and meats were hormone free. And there's no such thing as high fructose corn syrup either.

    I won't say I enjoyed being car-less. Grocery shopping for 6 will wear on your arm sockets. That said, our grocery store delivers. It delivers wine. It's a beautiful thing.

  2. Wine delivery = heaven. No, they don't have that here, I don't think. But I'm going to check into it right this moment!

    Yes, the switch to REAL sugar is cool. They do have high fructose corn syrup, but it isn't as prevalent. Thank goodness.

  3. The thing I love about living in other countries is the involuntary exercise - aka walking. Lose weight everytime.