Lima has turned out to be a wonderful city. I was so worried about safety and sanitation issues for my kiddos and this place is not the mugger filled dirty city my fears built up. We haven’t been harassed at all. The people are friendly and constantly make cooing noises at Wren. Even though we suck at the small amount of Spanish we have learned, no one seems impatient or frustrated with us and I’m very relieved.
Lima is beautiful to me. I love all the little courtyards and unique front doors, the sprawling walkways that stretch from San Isidro to Miriflores and all the little eateries with such delicious food that are found everywhere. On the street one block over from us there are ten different places to eat and the few we have tried have taken my boys out of their comfort zone but taught them that different can be delicious. Our first trip to one of the restaurants left me feeling foolish and frustrated for not knowing enough Spanish. I could pick out a few things on the menu but the rest was unknown to me. We ended up just pointed to a few things on the menu and hoping for the best. Thankfully it turned out to be amazing food. My boys did not think so at first. Rex looked at our plates and started to cry. It was horrible. But I explained again to him that things were different here and we were on an adventure and then after he took a bite he got a big smile and said it was good. And he ate it all. So we are learning as we go.
One of the parks we have been to a few times has some old trees that the boys climbed and fell in love with. On the third visit we ventured out into a busier part of the park and immediately the police started blowing whistles at the boys after they climbed a tree. We learned that the trees were 400 year old olive trees planted by Antonio de Rivera in colonial times and again I felt like the stupid tourist letting her kids clime something that everyone else knew was not OK to climb. The park is called Parque El Olivar and is a great place for the community to gather, relax or play. There is two ponds and the boys loved watching the Koa fish swim around. We hear that there is a turtle that comes out everyday to be fed at noon and we plan on being there for it before we leave Lima.
We have spent time walking a few miles each day in both directions from our rental. The tree lined pathway that travels the middle of Av Arequipa makes that walk very pleasant. We made it to the Inka market in Miriflores and had a fun time picking out souvenir with the boys. Bargaining is a hard skill for me to pick up. I’ve gotten better with the taxi’s since our arrival but offering less for something that already seems so reasonable seems weird. It turns out that Rex is a natural born negotiator. He could get the booth owners to come down so low on prices by loosing interest until they were offering to give it to him for practicllly nothing.
And here we are having some school time. Its not easy to fit it in with so much going on each day but we have been managing as best we can.
The boys are always climbing everything in sight but they finally met their match with the trees that line our road. We call them the spike trees and they boys are fascinated with them. Rex is convinced that if he just jumps and let them poke through his hand he will climb the tree better. He hasn’t tried it yet…
One of the more interesting days we spent walking through Miriflores after first taking a taxi to the beach. The boys thought they were going to splash around through gentle waves and catch things but the beach turned out to be filled with large rocks that were taking such a beating that that we couldn’t get near the water.
At the top of the hill overlooking the beach is a large statue of a kissing couple. There were a number of couples in the area kissing each other and I learned that this is considered a very romantic destination in Lima. The wall leading up to the statue is covered in colorful mosaic tiles and provides a great backdrop for kid photos.
And then we discovered the cat park. In the middle of down town between loud and busy lanes of traffic is a park set aside for cats and there are plenty of them to be found. The boys loved the cat park and we went there a few times. At one end is a playground so it served us well.
My children’s favorite night was spent at Parque De Las Aguas. It is a park filled with water fountains that are lit at night and it only cost 4 soles to enter. That’s a little more than a buck per person and it was wonderfully fun for them. There is a little train that goes around the park and the kids loved it. Some of the fountains could be controlled and others were fun to race through. There are 14 fountains in all and at intervals through the night they have special light shows at different fountains.
That about sums up a good portion of our time in Lima. There is more but its of the little trials of trying to maintain a healthy family in the middle of such a big change. Wren has taken to restless sleep and wants to nurse often while the boys seems to push each others buttons a bit more than before. Oh, and I might as well mention that we did manage to eat something bad and had a day of staying home and being sick. It got us all and was not very fun. And then it was over and we moved on. We made friends with our upstairs neighbor and she has been very helpful with a number of questions plus pleasant to just hang out with.
And now on to Ica!