Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A little break from Chiclayo

I was really getting cabin fever, stuck in a routine in Chiclayo. So, I went to stay with Oscar in Lima, and afterwards we went to a beach in Ecuador. Part of the front for going to see Oscar was that he had been sick, and I was going to help him get better. His being sick is actually a little funny; we went to a doctor the first day I arrived. Oscar had been sick for nearly four weeks with diarrhea and had lost about 16 pounds. The doctor asked if he had done any traveling, and he said yes, that he had traveled to the sierra, to Chachapoyas. The doctor asked a few more questions and announced definitively that he had contracted a stomach bacteria from his trip. The funny part is that I too was on that trip and ate exactly the same meals and swam in the same dirty water he did, and I didn't get sick. The Galvez family make comments about me never getting sick because, apparently, all the North Americans who come to South America get some stomach sickness. Oscar, the dad, said that it was a blessing from Heavenly Father because of all the prayers of my mother; and that's probably exactly what it is.

I got to go to the Temple in Lima and watch General Conference in English with all the gringos who live and work in Lima, mostly in the embassy. The Temple is very pretty, as all Temples are, except the one in Provo. The endowment rooms are very little, at least the one I was in. It could only hold 20 people, and there were 5 in my session.
The top of Oscar's apartment building where I washed my clothes

Oscar was nice enough to miss school a few times so we could do stuff. We went with his friends Pedro and Ara and their little boy Marcelo. We went to an old convent and a museum of the Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish Inquisition, directly translated from Spanish, is The Holy Inquisition. Unfortunately, our tours were all in Spanish, so I missed a lot.
The cathedral at the Plaza de Armas in Lima
Standing in front the Lima's main Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas
Jumping in front of Lima's main cathedral in the Plaza de Armas
Finishing a cart wheel in front of Lima's main cathedral in the Plaza de Armas

Outside an old monastery: Saint Something's monastery

In front of the monastery with pigeons

Inside the old monastery

Inside a courtyard inside the old monastery

In the catacombs of the old monastery

I have no idea who they buried in this convent, but there were tons and tons of bones in these catacombs. We walked down passages with piles of bones and skulls on the sides.

This is the greatest library I have ever seen. Note the giant books behind me and the spiral staircases. This is where they monks used to study. It was sort of breathtaking.

Dallas and little Marcelito: this little guy reminds me of Bennet. They are a month apart.

One of the smiling faces of Lima, Peru

Oscar at the Urinario: on the way from Lima to Ecuador
I had to cross the border to leave Peru, which proved to be a slightly expensive affair. When I left, I found out that my visa had expired a few weeks earlier and I had to pay a fine for every extra day. I have to admit I was a little upset; every travel book and web site I checked said that when you arrive in Peru you automatically receive a visa for 90 days. Well, when I arrived the sweet faced fellow only gave me 60 days, and this is the reason I unknowingly overstayed my welcome. The sweet gentleman had scribbled the number "60" on the little image he had stamped in my passport, but I really had no idea what that was; I thought, maybe, they were his initials. He didn't ask me how many days I wanted; he only yelled at me because I had filled out the form incorrectly.
Sitting at the bus station on the Ecuador side of the border. Take a closer look at these guys. The photo is worth blowing up, if you can: the details are a lot of fun.

We spent a day or two at Salinas, a really fancy beach in Ecuador. And listen to this, Ecuador uses US dollars. Crazy!
Oscar, Darrin, Dallas, Alonso
Our Hostal
Girls on the beach in Salinas, Ecuador.
After Marisela (the Galvez mother) saw this picture she said I needed to talk to the bishop. She's so funny.
Jumping on the beach in Ecuador
In the evening there was a concert. I think these Latin rock bands are so funny. They all play a few English songs, but they're these crappy rock songs from the 80's, and everyone knows the words better than I do.
Oscar and Dallas dancing at the concert

We left Salinas and traveled back to Peru, where I got an additional 180 days in my passport: all I had to do was ask for more. What a nice system. We traveled to Mancora, one of the most popular beaches in Peru. There were tons of dirty white hippies. And they all spoke Spanish better than I do. Oscar said that I shouldn't feel bad because they are always hooking up with the natives, so the get a lot of practice, and they've been here for years. There were no hippies in Salinas, only rich looking Ecuadorianos.

Our view from the hostal

Our room in the hostal

Little girl surfing
There were decent waves for surfing at Mancora, and there were little tiny kids surfing. I say this little girl no older than 14 ride a few waves with style. There was a ity bity little girl, about 5 or 6 years old who was learning to surf. This guy paddled her out to the waves on a big surf board and he would hold her hand as she stood up then he would stand up behind her and the two of them would surf the waves together. It was really cute. She was tiny.

Breakfast in Mancora: I had a shrimp omelet. It was so good.
My Captain's Platter with Inka Kola in the back ground

The lighthouse at Moncora, for Shilo

Dallas standing on the beach in Mancora

Dallas jumping on the beach in Mancora

Dallas and Oscar jumping at the same time on the beach in Mancora

One more jump
Mancora is beautiful, and because it's a beach, the sea food is very cheap. I had the best sea food in my life on the beach at Mancora. I had, what would be, in the States, a captain's platter. Fried fish (I don't know what kind), fried shrimp, scallops, octopus, calamari, etc., french fries, fried yucca with a lemon chopped onions and tomatoes smothered on top. I loved it. It was better even than New Orleans's sea food, and cheaper, only $5.

After my trip, I'm glad to be back in Chiclayo.

Sick little Oskitar