Living in Lima Peru (10/2010)
October 3, 2010 (Sunday)
A new month is upon us and it’s also time for me to place a new entry in my website. We are making some strides with our novel. Larry has finished his three chapters, I have edited them and sent them back, then when I get them back I will add them to the novel. That will bring the total so far to 30 chapters and I have already finished two of my three chapters. I had to do a considerable amount of editing on the full book this week. Rewording and moving some chapters around so that they fell in our timeline better. As I said in my previous entry, research and editing are now taking up more time than writing new chapters. I am loving this though and we are still enjoying working together. We are a good fit since Larry isn´t retired and he is working here in Lima at one of the more prestigious Universities. That means I have more time than him for the editing and research which I do find challenging.
We are still publishing short stories on our Peru Writers Blog and slowly but surely getting a few more readers. We just wish that they would leave some comments for us. I’m sure that all writers like a little feedback on their work. I know I do. The group had our weekly meeting this past Thursday and we went over a new piece by Larry. Larry´s ability to put a story into very few words is a great talent. Occasionally though, we have to let him know to expand his characters a bit to make the story more interesting or sympathetic. I have this same problem sometimes. I am waiting for his revision so that I can post it Tuesday.
I got really sick one day this week, not sure where it came from and it only lasted about 16 hours. Headache, low grade fever, muscle cramps and diarrhea were my symptoms. Chicken Soup apparently cured me. LOL After recovering I had a creative outburst as I like to call it and that was when I got all the work done on the book.
I met my friend Tim for breakfast at Café Z this morning, then we went for a walk on the Malecon and I took more photos of a gray day in Miraflores. Lourdes didn´t join us as this is the day for voting in Peru. They are having all their municipal elections now, for mayor and other local positions. Presidential and National elections are next year. Here is Peru you are REQUIRED to vote. If you do not, you are fined (I think about S/.170 Soles) which is stiff by standards here. In some ways I like this and others I don´t. I understand that in the elections they have a box you can check that states you DO NOT like any of the candidates. I’m not sure what would happen if a majority of the people voting checked that box.
I hope all of you have a great October. My friend John will be here visiting this month so it will be nice to spend some time with a friend from back in the US. As always I am looking forward to Halloween. Till next time everyone. Keep smiling, it’s the healthy thing to do.
10/10/2010 (Sunday) A very busy week
Sorry to all my readers for the delayed entry. This time, I just didn’t have time to get to this until today. I did manage to get in a coffee in Barranco with my friend Kathy on Monday. It was nice visiting my old haunts again and the sun was peeking through every now and then. We talked about stuff in general and what we had been doing over the past few days. Naturally we talked about our writing and discussed the progress of my book. It was good to get out again. On Tuesday, it was house cleaning day and my Spanish Class in the afternoon. Spanish class is going slowly now. I have had to cancel so many classes and now with my friends coming to visit from the US, it will get even worse. Fortunately, I have a very understanding teacher who is willing to adjust my class schedule to suit my needs.
Then Tuesday night my friend John arrived. Unfortunately, he arrived sick and after spending the night vomiting, he finally had to be admitted to the hospital. So, I have been making multiple trips during the day to visit him and make sure everything is OK. He is certainly being treated well here and luckily for all of us, his physician (both in the ER and Admission) speaks English very well. Not so lucky is the fact that I seem to miss their visits to him and so can only get information about what is going on from John. Anyway, John is doing really well and should be able to come home today or tomorrow. He will spend the rest of his vacation here in Lima, having to miss his visit to Cusco and Machu Picchu as a result. Now he has a good excuse to come back for another visit.
Sorry, but that’s it for this entry. Hopefully the next one will be chock full of our adventures as I show John around this wonderful city. Have a great week everyone and if we have learned a lesson from all of this it might be this. International or Travel Health Insurance might not be such a bad idea after all.
10/13/2010 (Wednesday) Showing John Lima
John was able to come home Sunday at midday. He was feeling well enough for us to walk the short distance and even go for another short walk later in the evening. Since then we have been touring the sites here in and around Lima. On Monday, we were going to see the National Museum but when we got there it was closed. I had forgotten that all public museums are closed on Mondays so we will try to fit it in on another day. From there we walked over to the San Borja Huaca so that John could get a few photos. After that we headed back to the apartment to pick up some things and headed into Miraflores so that John could do some Christmas shopping. I took him to the Inka Market and Plaza where he found some things he liked after wandering through most of the stalls.
Afterwards we headed into Parque Kennedy so he could see the beautiful landscaping and get some pictures of the church there. John has a new camera and seems to enjoy taking photos with it. From the park we headed down to Café Z where John had one of their big Fruit Salads (which he couldn’t finish) and a juice. I had the Fruit Salad and a cup of coffee. We people watched for a bit and then headed to the Malecon for a walk along the ocean. We started out at the Love Park, more photos, and then headed south taking even more photos as we went until we reached LarcoMar. At LarcoMar we went to Mangos for water and a desert and to sit on their terrace and watch the Paragliders float overhead. It is such a relaxing spot and hearing the waves breaking in the ocean is soothing to the soul.
From LarcoMar we headed up to the street and caught a cab to take us to Huaca Pucllana where John and I took the tour. Anyone who reads my blog will know that this is the place to see for a great example of sites built by the Lima Culture. I was surprised to see how much more they had accomplished at the site and soon you will be able to visit the upper platform. The Archaeologists have been very busy. Figuring that was enough for one day, we caught a cab and headed back to the apartment for dinner and a relaxing evening.
Tuesday morning after breakfast we headed down to my favorite place to get a juice and have another fruit salad (this one was much smaller). Then we headed back to the apartment and we all piled into the car. We headed out for a drive along the Costa Verde and Lunch at the Diving Priest Restaurant. We stopped at several points of interest so that photos could be taken and John could take in the nice views. Stopping at the Diving Priest we had lunch on John´s dime and then walked out to take photos of the priest/monk diving off the cliff. It’s always cool to watch them do this and personally I think they are a little nuts.
Then it was time to head to Pachacamac and show John the truly impressive ruins from a religious site that survived through many of Peru’s ancient cultures and was renowned as for its Oracle. The day had been sunny but as we headed south of Lima the clouds moved back in and it started getting a little chilly again. The site is impressive under any circumstances and while we toured it, I told John all the history and Myths I had heard about the place. After all that it was time to head home and rest up for today’s adventures. We will be going to Lima´s Historical Center where I will give John my world famous tour of the sites. Happy Hump Day everyone.
10/16/2010 (Saturday) Lima Center, Writers’Group, Day of Rest and Barranco
I’m still showing my friend John the sites around Lima. On Wednesday, we went to Lima Center and I gave him the grand tour. We started out in The Plaza de Armis in front of Lima’s Cathedral and the Presidential Palace where John took some photos. Afterwards we headed to the San Francisco Church past the Casa del Oidor and John took a tour of the catacombs and got to see all the bones. He enjoyed that part a lot. Then we headed over to the statue of the Shoe Shine Boy by way of the glass-covered walkway behind the old post office. I told John the story of the shoe shine boy and why they dedicated a statue to him. From there we went past the houses Osambela and Riva Agüero and the Church of San Agustin. I also showed John the Casa’s Palacio de Torre Tagle and de Goyeneche which have the most beautiful balconies. We also made it to the Plaza de San Martin, the Bolivar Hotel, the Maury Bar and had lunch in Huerfanos. It was a beautiful day and John enjoyed the tour and my stories.
On Thursday, I had the regular meeting with the writers’ group while John did another round of shopping as well as a little exploring in Miraflores on his own. As always, Larry and I met early and discussed our book. He is having a little dry spell with his writing. I can certainly understand that. The Victoria came and we talked about a short piece that I had written for the blog. John joined us for the end of the meeting and at least got to meet a couple of my friends. After that we headed home and back to the hospital to pick up papers John needed to change his flight for free and the records to bring back to his physician. That took a couple of hours and afterwards we just spent the evening watching a movie.
Friday was pretty much a do nothing day. It consisted of watching some TV, working on Christmas Cards, and going to Delta headquarters to change John’s flight. Sometimes a day of rest is called for, no matter how energetic you feel.
Today we went to Barranco and I gave John to the tour there. We walked the Malecon, I showed him some of my favorite spots and points of interest. I told him the story of the Bridge of Sighs and how Barranco was founded in addition to showing him some historically significant buildings. He liked the area a lot and could see why it is my favorite place. There are a lot of street repairs going on there now as well as construction of apartments so noise and terrible traffic were part of the tour also. Tomorrow evening John heads back to the US. I have certainly enjoyed having him here and will miss him after he leaves. Now comes round 2, Mona and Kelly arrive on November 2nd. Hope you all are having a good weekend.
10/21/2010 (Thursday) Sunday with John, Coffee with Kathy, Writers Group
On the last day of John’s visit, we went to the Museum of the Nation, just a few blocks from my apartment. We visited the three floors that were open (no new progress on the renovation yet) and spent some time viewing all the exhibits. The three floors that are open to the public are the 2nd, 4th and 6th. The second floor contains artifacts, paintings and other things from the entire timeline of Peruvian History. There are many ceramics on display from the various cultures, along with weapons and musical instruments. They have a small room with gold and silver objects that have been discovered during assorted excavations at sites around Peru. Paintings and household items from the Spanish Colonial era along with miniatures demonstrating some of the festivals celebrated since those times. The fourth floor is dedicated to paintings by indigenous artists. The work is beautiful, colorful and inspiring no matter your inclinations. The sixth floor is a definite come down from the other two. Here they display photos from the era of the Shining Path. Dead bodies and other horrible scenes assault your eyes from every wall. Crimes committed on both sides for which people are still being punished. A reminder of what can happen if society lets it’s guard down for even an instant. The rest of the day we spent in the apartment enjoying each other’s company only taking a break to have lunch at the Chifa around the corner. We delivered John to the airport that evening and hoped he would return next year to visit Machu Picchu.
I spent the next couple days getting caught up on my writing and housework. Wednesday morning I met my friend Kathy for Coffee. Nathan also joined us for a bit. He had tickets for me to attend the Noche de Arte this Friday evening and my LiP business cards. I am looking forward to attending the event as it features a lot of Peru’s present day artists. They sell their works at the event and the proceeds go to various charities in Peru. This will be my first time attending.
This morning I met with Larry for our writers’ group meeting. Victoria couldn’t join us as she was in Arequipa on a little vacation with her husband. Larry and I are making good progress on the novel and we have charted out the next seven chapters. Now to get them written. Naturally, I am still editing as we work, a job that will never end. We also went over a nice piece of humor that Larry wrote for our blog. It will be published next week. As an FYI, I am going to interview an author friend of mine and post the interview here as my first entry for November. It should be interesting and I hope all of you take the time to come back and read it. That’s it for now everyone. Hope you had a great week and will have a fantastic weekend.
10/25/2010 (Monday) Noche de Arte, writing, lazy weekend
I spent a lot of time writing and editing on the novel since my last entry. I managed to get two chapters written and all the changes Larry and I discussed last Thursday done on the chapters we have already finished. As I have told you many times, editing is now taking up almost as much of my time as actually writing the book. In that time I also managed to get two short stories completed and am putting some thought into a third one. I really want to get ahead of the curve on the short stories in case I hit a dry spell with my writing.
Friday night Steve and I attended to Noche de Arte, a really big charitable event here in Lima. Hundreds of artists donate their work to be sold at this event with part of the proceeds going to the artist and another part going to an assortment of charities in Peru. The opening night was Thursday and they had 5000 people attend the event and sold over $200,000 worth of art in that night alone. The event ran through Sunday. There were many forms of art on display from paintings in Oil and Acrylic to photography and sculptures. We ran into Larry and his wife Lucha there and stood and chatted for a while before walking through the exhibit of some 900 pieces of art. I liked most of the work or as I would say, “I would hang that in my living room.” Everytine I attend one of these things it makes me want to go home, break out the easel, and start working on a new painting. Unfortunately, the urge passes quickly.
Sunday morning I had breakfast with Tim in Miraflores. Lourdes was visiting her mother. We had a long talk about what’s going on in our lives and afterwards went for a very long walk along the Malecon. We ended up stopping at a Skate Park where some guys were showing off their skills on skate boards. I got to talking with one of the instructors and I think I will write up an article on the sport and it’s growth here in Peru. The instructor has agreed to meet me and let me interview him and take photos of some tricks for the article. Should be interesting.
That’s it for this entry folks. I hope all of you have a great week doing what you love the most, whatever that may be.
10/30/2010 (Saturday) A lot of writing and a couple of meetings
I’ve spent a lot of time at this computer this week. Making final arrangements for visits from my friends Mona and Kelly Stevens as well as arranging airport pickups and deliveries from the herd of people accompanying my sister here has taken up a lot of time. I also worked on the Novel and tried to get ahead with my short stories. I didn’t have much success with the getting ahead part since I had to submit a story a week early. Victoria went to Cusco and Arequipa for a week and didn’t get any writing done while she was away. Work is progressing on the Novel at a good pace still. We have almost finished up to Chapter 42 and have outlines all the way to chapter 52. Unfortunately, with all the company coming, I’m not sure how much writing I will get done until after they leave. I am going to try to build a story guideline from beginning to end though to help keep us from wandering.
Wednesday I had coffee with my friend Kathy. As usual it was good seeing her and finding out about all the drama in her life. My life here is so tranquil it almost borders on boring so I depend on my friends here to provide with excitement. LOL Anyway, I digress, Kathy has been having some relationship problems and I get to hear all about those during our coffees. Of course we talk about writing, events in Peru and life as an expat. One thing that is totally necessary here is having a good Peruvian friend. It makes life so much easier.
Thursday was our writers’ group meeting and like every meeting, it was fun and enlightening. Larry and I met first to discuss our latest chapters in the novel. We each talked about things that needed improving or additional ideas to expand a chapter. Then we outlined the next 10 chapters to try to get a handle on which direction the novel would take. Overall, it was a very fruitful discussion and then Victoria joined us. First she told us all about her trip to Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Arequipa. It was exciting listening to her tell about the trip. She was so enthusiastic and had obviously had a very good time. Afterwards we got down to reviewing the short story I had submitted. It will be published this coming Tuesday on our blog and I hope you will take the time to read it. That’s all for this entry and this month everyone. I’ll see you in November where I will keep you posted on the adventures of my friends here in Peru. Have a SPOOKY Halloween weekend all. Sorry, no photos this time.