We finally found a museum we liked! After school we took a taxi to the Museo Larco in the Pueblo Libre neighborhood about 20 minutes from Miraflores. I have been wanting to visit since we got to Peru and Katrina was willing to check out some antiquities. The museum is housed in an 18th century building and is filled with pre-Columbian art. The gardens around the museum are beautiful with multicolored bougainevillea snaking up the stone walls and huge cacti growing in terracotta pots. We were hungry when we got there so we decided to have lunch in the outdoor restaurant. (Leave it to the Stechler’s–this this time me and Katrina, representing the family–to find a fancy lunch no matter where we go!) Sofia and Oscar took the good seats overlooking the gardens. (The restaurant gives out blankets to ward off the chill from sitting semi-outside.)
The restaurant is lovely and the food was delicious. We sat next to a couple from California who had just arrived in Lima. Oscar made sure to tell them exactly which restaurants to visit. (“You HAVE to try the guinea pig at Astrid y Gaston!”) After lunch we checked out the exhibits: lots of stoneware, sculptures, textiles and jewelry. The Incas get most of the attention from tourists in Peru so it was interesting to learn about some of the many cultures that were here before and after them.
Today was my last day of class with my teacher Marco, who is also the academic director of the school. He is taking a continuing education class next week so I had to say goodbye to him today. We really lucked out in finding the Peruwayna Spanish School. The atmosphere is warm and the teachers are excellent. I have been in class with Marco for five weeks and we seem to have covered every topic imaginable from religion to politics to stories about our families. (All in Spanish, of course, with lots of questions from me along the lines of “como se dice….en Español?”) Marco was invaluable in answering all my questions about Peru, such as “is it common for the kitchen stove to be connected to a propane tank that looks like the one under my outdoor gas grill?” And the answer is yes. Through our conversations I learned about the history of Peru, its culture and theories on why the drivers are so bad.
Even though I mostly wanted to chat rather than reveal how little I remember the rules of Spanish grammar, Marco somehow made sure I still learned the present subjunctive and didn’t chastise me when I didn’t do my homework. The first day of class I was so nervous about speaking Spanish again and angry at myself for wasting all these years neglecting a language that I really enjoy speaking and learning. But, thanks to Marco and his never ending patience (it is so much harder to remember words and tenses now than it was in college!) I am on my way to becoming a Spanish speaker once again. Y soy muy feliz!
Sean got back from Colombia safely and we met him for dinner at the restaurant Amaz which specializes in food from the Amazon. Sean, Katrina and I are currently in a state of pain and euphoria from eating too many hot peppers. We are too tired to figure out what to do tomorrow. We will think about it in the morning….