Mornings in Lima

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Morning is my favorite part of the day. Everything is so new… so fresh… and usually quiet.

Tuesday morning I slept through all 9 of my alarms (oops!) and got a belated start to the workday. And for some reason my slowness reminded me of mornings in Lima, Peru.

Last summer I spent a month in the beautiful country of Peru, and for the last two weeks I was in Lima. I stayed with new friend and her family in a spare room. Their house was four stories, and they rented out the top two floors. The roof was used to hang everyones laundry, and to provide a view of the neighborhood. My room was on the second floor, next to my friends’.

half of my room

Mi cama...complete with a panda!

my dresser for two weeks

On Monday, Tuesday & Wednesdays I was up at 6:00. Which is normal for me. But after a night of sleeping on a not-so-comfortable mattress, and most nights shivering non-stop, it was so hard to wake up at 6:00!!!  Rosita, my friend, would knock at my door and tell me “wake up Meredith! Come down!” (in Spanish) I would roll over, hesitantly get out from under the blanket, and change into jeans and a t-shirt.

After brushing my teeth with bottled water (on some days… other days I was rebellious with their running water ;), I headed downstairs for breakfast with Rosita. She was the perfect hostess. She was always so bright and cheery and talkative in the mornings, when I was still trying to get my brain to think in Spanish instead of English.

She would pour me a cup of boiling water to which I would add some instant coffee and hot chocolate mix. And I would add a spoonful of sugar for good measure 🙂 Then she would sit down and we would pray. [[Fun Fact: One morning she asked me to bless the food in English and I was taken aback…I was totally prepared for it in Spanish so I had to really think and focus on praying in English!]]

Some mornings Rosita would fry an egg for each of us, and others we would just eat bread. It’s no secret that I love Peruvian bread, but I’ll have to dedicate a whole post to their bread!  She would offer me cheese or jelly, but I would simply add a little bit of butter to the bread. Peruvian butter complemented the Peruvian bread perfectly. Occasionally we would have a banana with breakfast, but most times it was short and sweet. On mornings when we were both extra talkative, when we realized what time it was, we would both finish eating quickly and hurry up and finish getting ready.

view from the roof of the casa

If I had hung my clothes out on the roof to dry or freshen them up, I would run up the stairs with my camera and take a picture of the view before grabbing my clothes. Talk about a busy and crowded view!

At 6:55 sharp, Rosita would knock on my door yet again telling me, “we need to go…come on! Don’t forget to lock up.” and we would be out the door. (I locked my door, the door to our hallway on the second floor, and the front door to the house… talk about keeping up with a lot of keys!)

The school where Rosita worked (and I volunteered) was a half mile away from our humble abode, and we would walk there together. We had to cross multiple lanes of traffic a few times on our commute, and each time we crossed, Rosita was so protective. She really was like my older sister. Although there was somewhat of a language barrier when one of us couldn’t explain something well enough for the other to understand, we bonded in a way that I can’t really explain. It was a God thing, because God knows I needed a big sister/friend while I was in Lima!

We passed the bakery (my FAVORITE place!), policemen and women on corners helping schoolkids cross the roads, small internet stores, and nice houses. By the time we were in sight of of the school, students would come running up to us wishing us “buenos días señoritas” and they would hug us and smile shyly.

There was one morning in particular when it was misting/raining lightly on us as we rushed to school. And in Lima, rain is a rare occurance. It NEVER rains. But one morning it did, and I remember everyone passing us on the sidewalks, totally in shock at the wet weather. Even once we got to school, the kids were excited and jittery. Something so small had such a big impact on that morning.

Basically, mornings in Lima, Peru were special and unique. Mornings I will never forget. Conversations over breakfast in broken Spanish & English about families, education, travel. Mornings when traffic was so bad and we had to wait to cross the streets, or had to run across despite the police yelling at us. Mornings that were chilly and humid. Mornings that I will cherish all my life.

Rosita and me at school

Do you love mornings as much as I do??? Any fond morning-memories???

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