Meetings, Food, and Views in Lima
I'm not even sure where to start with this post, so how about the beginning!
I arrived in Lima Sunday morning and took an Uber to Miraflores. Except I didn't. Because I put in the wrong address into the app and so my driver took me to San Isidro. Well, it was in the right direction so wouldn't have been a huge deal, except it was an Uber pool and so there was other passengers to drop off! Long story short: I spent 2+ hours in the car with my uber driver and got a nice tour of the entire city...
Pic of police on horse taken from said Uber
After I got to the Gringo House - how everyone calls the student apartment our professor owns- I met up with Kay, who I hadn't seen since our Comprehensive exam in May! Unfortunately, we both had work to do so we headed out to the nearby Starbucks to work the afternoon away. (are you judging us for going to Starbucks in Peru??) My wifi access in Iquitos is always very slowly, sometimes non-existent, and generally quite frustrating when you have a lot of searching to do (hello, literature reviews!), so part of my justification for going to Lima for a week was to utilise fast internet to get a lot of work done!
Monday morning I ran outside for the first time in Peru! It was really nice. The weather in Lima is cool and breezy. Kay and I spent the day again writing applications and working on our theses. When Esther got home from work, we went to Pizza Hut to grab dinner! I think you all know that I love love love pizza. So I do miss it dearly in Iquitos. I ate pizza every single day we were in Italy last summer ;) for 10 days. And honestly, I think some days I might have even eaten it twice. Anyway, I ordered a large pizza for myself, I'm pretty sure Esther thought I was joking.
[ insert here picture of pizza that turns out I didn't save from Snapchat ]
Tuesday was the first day of our meetings. We started a bit after noon and went straight through till 7. The meetings are held every other month, when the professor comes to the lab and each research team presents what they've done over the past two months to him. It was really interesting to see how this professor runs his lab, and compare to my experiences with other research groups and leadership styles. He's got a wide variety of studies going on and lots and lots of lab work. After we got out, a few of us headed over to a Thai restaurant that we had been pining over all day long (Siam). It was delicious!
Wednesday morning I got in a nice run again before Kay and I ventured out to find a cafe we'd been informed served bagels. On the search, it took us a little bit to find the spot, but it was worth it for Kulcafe. WE HAD BAGELS AND NUTELLA LATTES. 'nough said. the rest of the day was basically a re: Tuesday
After the meetings finished up, we went home and grabbed everyone's favorite, Lucha sandwiches. I'm not that into sandwiches I guess.. I had fries and a milkshake (#health). After which, Kay, Jeroen and I were determined to get beers. I was missing draft beer (read: we don't have beer on tap in Iquitos!!!), so we headed to Barbarian in Miraflores for some craft beers. In my opinion, that place is insanely expensive. And honestly, I wasn't in love with the beer I had.
The next morning Kay and I met up with our friend Diana to get breakfast. We had planned to have the day off on Thursday and try to explore the city some, but I ended up inside working almost the entire day. I had a meeting scheduled with the professor for "after" Ardi's meeting which was at 11:00, so we went over around 11:30 and just waited around until he had time to talk to us. Conveniently, this meeting was in the Prof's apartment which is right next to the student apartment! After we met, I went back to the student apartment to work on my thesis draft. Until I was grabbed again for other meetings in the afternoon.
We were up early Friday morning to meet Jess and head to her field site. It's a bit of a trek to get to, but as are all field sites really, which is why the work is important. I shadowed one of the fieldworkers all morning. She goes around to meet every mother who is enrolled in the study EVERY SINGLE DAY. She walks A LOT and knows the whole area very well. The mothers in the study all have babies, so it was cute to get to meet some chubby-cheeked peruvian babes. I met the cutest set of twin while we were waiting for the mother to be ready to chat, so we got to play with them for a while. The field site, however, is basically the complete opposite of mine. It's a dessert, so there are no trees, water, plants, etc. The whole place is pretty dry and it's much more dangerous than my site. This has resulted in a very different culture of the people and it's not quite as fun to go around. People have multiple locked doors out front to secure their homes, and some would talk to us through the window or a crack in the door. There's no people hanging out in the streets playing loud music, as is here, but there were still plenty of dogs to play with ;)
After we got back to the city around 5 pm, I showered and headed straight out to a coffee shop to try to finish another application! I was planning on getting so much done this week and it all got pushed aside by the meetings, socialising, and field site visit! After about an hour of working, I met up with my friends to go to dinner. We went to Papacho's, a burger place in Miraflores. It was really good! I was exhausted after and went home to bail and sleep.
Saturday I got in another nice run along the ocean before we went back into meetings again! I was told we'd be out by 1:00, but I was there until 4:00. After which, I hurried to get ready so Esther, Ardi, and I could head out to meet their friends at an Oktober Fest party at a brewery. The Brewery is called Nuevo Mundo. We paid 25 soles for entrance which included a liter of beer and a tour. The beer was really good and I had a lot of fun at the party! I'm pretty sure the beer also made my spanish, like, amazing. ;)
I slept in crazy late on Sunday morning (for me). A little before noon I forced myself to get out of the apartment and go try to finish my applications! I had more motivation because I knew it was my last day with good internet. Esther and I went to Aromia, as recommended by Diana, and it was delicious! I got scrambled cheesy eggs, a croissant, and iced coffee :) yum
In the afternoon, I jumped in an Uber and went to the airport. I would have been there with perfect timing, but my flight was delayed an hour. womp. Anyways, I still got back to my apartment by 10 pm.
Thanks to Esther, Kay, Ardi, Jeroen, Diana, Jess, and their friends for showing me a good time in Lima :) I enjoyed the cold weather and fancy foods, but am glad to be back in steaming hot Iquitos with my equipo