No I am not in the middle of a jungle where there is no running water. I am in Arequipa, Peru where they had a rain storm last week that damaged the water pipes and have been out of water for 5 days now.
Arriving to my home stay in Arequipa turned out to be a little more of an adventure then I anticipated. The flight from Lima to Arequipa is about 1 hour and 20 minutes. We had been in the air for about an hour when they announced we needed to turn around due to bad weather, back to Lima we went! 30 minutes after disembarking and being told we wouldn’t be able to fly out until 5:30am and would all have to sleep in the airport they decided the weather was cleared up enough.
I arrived in Arequipa around midnight and one of the coordinators from my TEFL school came to pick me up with her nanny from about 25 years ago. About 15 minutes after driving we suddenly got out, I hadn’t been paying attention to the conversation going on in the taxi but apparently the Nanny had been concerned of the route the taxi driver was taking us. We then spent the next 15 minutes on the side of the road trying to hail a taxi, me thinking it was just another adventure and the coordinator freaking out. But luckily an elderly gentleman stopped to pick us up and I arrived in one piece to my home stay.
The next morning I was able to meet my host mom, her husband, daughter (who left the next morning for Lima), her son (still lives at home but I haven’t seen him since ha) and the son’s girlfriend. All of which were extremely friendly, welcoming, and willing to put up with my broken Spanish! After lunch with everyone my host mom, her daughter, and I headed to the city center. We needed to take a 10 minute mini bus, there is a driver and someone standing in the door who takes you .80 Peruvian sol (about 25 cents) when you disembark. The whole thing is quite entertaining. There are also Alpaca’s in the park across the street from my TEFL school.
There’s a quote from Pirates of the Caribbean about “The Code is more what you call guidelines, than actual rules…” And this is how Peruvian drivers, especially taxi drivers, feel about the lines on the road, they’re just guidelines. Any time I am in a taxi I keep thinking we’re going to get hit because the drivers is in two lanes or on the wrong side of the road! Later on when I visited the market again there was a woman modeling in front of the fruits, not exactly sure why…..
Eventually I needed to shower, but the water still wasn’t running through the pipes. SO my host mom filled a bucket with about 1/3 water, then boiled a giant pot of water to add to create nice lukewarm water. It really made me assess just how much water is wasted when showering, even a quick one. I only needed a bucket to wash my body and hair, the same amount of water would probably be used in about 30 seconds of showering.
Overall I mainly spent my first couple days in Arequipa getting to know my host family and preparing for my TEFL course to start!