Over the weekend, I visited Iquitos, which is the largest city in the world inaccessible by road with over 400,000 inhabitants. But really I only flew into Iquitos and passed through it on my way to a hotel in the Amazon Rainforest. Before we got to the hotel, however, we visited a manatee reserve where they raise baby manatees until they are old enough to be released into the wild. I got to feed a baby manatee!
Also, I caught a piranha!
And I climbed a palm tree.
And I held a sloth!
I had a ton of fun in the amazon and got to know a lot of cool people who are studying abroad here with me. I loved hiking through the rainforest and seeing all the native wildlife that I very well may never get to see again (although I hope that I do!) All in all, it was one of my favorite experiences in my life.
This is a video that we watched during our orientation on Monday that I thought was pretty funny. A bunch of famous Peruvians made a trip to a city called Peru in Nebraska to share their culture with the residents there. It was actually made as part of a campaign to remind Peruvians about how special their country is and how lucky they are to be Peruvian. If anyone is interested in learning a little bit about Peruvian culture, it’s worth a watch.
Hola from Perú!
I have been super busy the last few days with orientation and some sight seeing around the city, but now that I’m settled in and have a little time to kill (finally), I figured I would update you all on my experience so far. I am living in a small family compound with my 2 host parents, their 24 year old nephew who is studying to become a pilot, and another American student. They have all been wonderful, warm, and inviting.
On my first day in Lima, we visited some ancient Pre-Incan ruins called Huaca Pucllana located right in the middle of the city! It was bizarre seeing these tall modern buildings in the background of an ancient pyramid.
Then, yesterday, the group of us international students went to see the Parque de las Aguas Mágicas (Park of Magical Waters), which is a neat park that has 13 unique fountains and a Guinness world record for being the largest fountain complex in the world. At night, they had a light show in one of the larger fountains where they projected images onto the mist the fountain created and coordinated the movement of the lights and water with music played over the loud speakers. Here are a few pictures:
Oh and also, as I’m sure you know, a new Pope was chosen today and he’s argentinian, so that’s kind of a big deal down here. Practically everyone is Catholic and they are so proud to have the next Pope be from Latin America, which has never happened before! I hope everything is going well in the states. I register for classes tomorrow and then on Friday I travel to Iquitos to visit the Amazon. And yes, mom, I will remember my malaria pills. I am not expected to have internet service over the weekend, so my next post will come when I return!
Tonight is my last night in the US until late August, so my parents took me out to dinner at The Grog in Newburyport, MA. Here’s a photo of us from my “Last Supper.”
I’m all packed and ready to go! My flight leaves from Boston tomorrow at 11:10am and I’m expected to arrive in Lima at 9:05pm. Wish me luck!
UPDATE: I forgot to mention, this picture was taken with my new Panasonic Lumix TS4. It’s water-proof, shock-proof, dust-proof, and freeze-proof. In other words, it’s Nate-proof (hopefully). This is perfect for me considering I broke my old camera before I even arrived to Florianópolis in Brazil. So, unless this one gets snatched by a piraña on the street, there’s no excuse for me not to take a bunch of pictures to share with you all!