One Year: November through January

To celebrate my first year in Peru, I am looking back at the past year. I am recalling the complicated journey that brought me here and seeing how things have changed over the last twelve months. 


I landed in Lima on November 5th with high hopes of beginning work within the next four weeks. I came with all of my papers in order and was under a strict timeline in order to have everything submitted in time to work. Unfortunately, within the first week I realized that I wouldn't be working within one month. Things in Peru move at a different pace. A very slow, somewhat disorganized and inefficient pace. Most of this month I spent my time daydreaming about my work visa.

We celebrated Thanksgiving by making a Thanksgiving meal for Alvaro's family. It was a complete success! I was worried about their Peruvian palettes not taking to Thanksgiving flavors, but it went over well. Step one complete in bridging the cultural gap.


After one month of sitting around and waiting for my papers to go through, I became bored. I needed something besides reading blogs and practicing Spanish to give my life purpose, so I started teaching English. Very quickly, I learned how deep language barriers can run and tried my hand at describing a certain bodily function. Let's just say, I don't think I did a great job with my explanation.

The only things I saw in Lima, were the negative things. I began to resent all of the critical thoughts I was having. To get out of my funk, I began to look for things that I liked about Peru, thus Point for Peru was born.

Just as I decided to make an effort and really give Lima chance, all of my security was stolen from me. As I was sitting inside the language institute someone walked into the lobby, placed a piece of paper over my iPod and lifted it when he walked away. It's just an iPod and I was graciously gifted another one later that evening. The true trial of that experience was that it was already difficult for me to feel safe. But through that moment, I learned. I'm a more savvy expat now. Last week, I was checking recipes on my phone at the grocery store, when someone walked over to me, placed a piece of paper on my phone and began talking to me. I immediately crossed my arms and walked away. Alvaro laughed at my quick reaction, especially because this was an innocent encounter, but applauded my natural, Peruvian instincts. The day after this incident, an older Peruvian gentlemen show me kindness and his actions reminded me that not all Peruvians are like the one who stole from me.

My view on Christmas day- hello Christmas in summer!

In January, I finally found a yoga studio, which was a giant step forward in acclimating to my new surroundings. I admitted to myself that the difficulties I was having in Peru were attributed to my extreme culture shock. I was still waiting and waiting for my work visa. With each passing day, I grew more impatient. Finally, Alvaro pretended to be my lawyer in order to get some answers. His tactics worked because after signing a legal document full of lies and a grand adventure, my papers were submitted! Everything was sitting in the Ministry of Work. One of the last steps before making their way to Peruvian Immigrations.