Much like the glorious game of futbol of which the home team is currently reigns supreme, victories in Peru often come out of nowhere. However, their occurrence is cause for a celebration unlike that of what I’m used to.
I got into town last Tuesday night and whether it was the Nathan’s Famous I had for lunch or the three plane rides I took to get from Detroit to Lima, I was certainly slow for more than a day. After getting acclimated to my latest home-away-from-home in the neighborhood of Planeta (including the Usain Bolt-esque speedy combi public transportation service) I began to adjust to my work schedule.
I am a recent B.A. graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oakland University, where I majored in journalism and minored in political science. Therefore, I decided that I would work best for the Perupedia Project as a kind of political reporter, taking what I could get from various sources on various subjects and working to establish original news content for the website (http://www.perupedia.info).
Thursday afternoon was spent working alongside Julio and Maren to establish media contacts. After receiving confirmation that our presence at a press conference the next day would be met well and figuring out details for the upcoming week after a long day of working e-mails in the Spanish language, I was anxious to celebrate our success. Thankfully, Lima was more than willing to oblige.
The three of us first got together for my first (but definitely not my last) Pisco Sour at a hotel that used to house American dignitaries. After exchanging many travel stories and laughs, we left the Bolivar Grand Hotel rosy-cheeked and happy in search of a salsa bar to burn off the energy we’d built up. After some bogus journeys and excellent adventures, we settled at an enormous salsa bar that easily could have doubled as a live music venue for a well-known band, in fact, we were served Latin rhythms by a large house band. The differences between canned DJ sets that I’m used to coming from the United States and the passionate band were palpable, as was the affect of two Pisco Sours and Peru’s much-deserved favorite home brew, Cristal. In between sets, the MC came up to our table and tried to initiate a back-and-forth with me. Unfortunately, as my Spanish is still limited to pleasantries at this point in the night, I couldn’t respond with anything but “EH!” Maren said it was hilarious, which I think was a compliment.
Seeing as the weekend brought victory for the Peruvian national soccer team over Uruguay, I have to imagine that the good times will keep coming. Until then, I’ll be working on my Spanish skills. — Tim Rath