Precarious. When asked about my first impressions in Peru, the first word to hit me was precarious. It was difficult to describe the deeper meaning behind this word as a first impression. Life in itself is, of course, precarious. Yet the visual images of homes perched on slippery hillsides, the challenging climbs up to and down from these homes, and the surprise of feeling an earth tremor have helped that word to stick as a first impression. Construction in the city of Lima: precarious. Buildings of brick, never really finished. Rebar sprouts from every rooftop, inviting another layer of family or another possibility to earn rent. I am not an engineer, but these buildings do not seem stable. The facades are deceptive, stuccoed over and painted green or purple or blue, but a peek behind shows the brick, wood, cardboard, plastic, and metal collage of apartments. When we were in the catacombs of the Franciscan monastery, the guide described the centuries-old mortar which inclu
Showing posts from June, 2012
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I have often written about the adventures of Greasy and Grubby in El Salvador. There are still adventures from the past to transcribe and to share, but since Greasy moved away, the number of Salvadoran adventures has lessened. Last week, Greasy and Grubby were together again in Lima, Peru, where Greasy's church has a sister church relationship with Luz Divina, a Lutheran congregation just north of the city. Greasy's daughter gave me the idea to write a bit about this Peruvian experience with the occasional question: "First impressions?" So, here are a few first impressions... Warmth - not the climate, but the people. Greetings in Peru are filled with "encantada" (which is like saying, "enchanted to meet you") and a big kiss on the cheek. Good-byes at the end of the day or at the close of an event take a very long time, as everyone gives everyone a hug and a kiss. Hospitality - the sister churches had worked together to plan the week.