Thursday, August 23, 2012

driving in lima

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There are many, many reasons that I am thankful that we live in Lima, despite the hardships.  One of those reasons is our constant exposure to the sights and sounds of a foreign country.  While the act of driving remains one of my biggest stressors, what I get to see while I am driving continues to both entertain me and make me think.  It is truly a different world for the most part and I love watching it.  I love the corner bodegas, the street entertainers, the bicycle carts, the tall buildings that are only half built out, the food carts where people pull a stool up and enjoy breakfast, the clothes lines, the people everywhere carrying everything you can imagine, the markets, the Catholic statues of saints guarding apartment buildings or streets, the Incan ladies, the life of this city.  Other parts of driving here break my heart, like the little kids that come to my window begging for money with no adult in sight.  And other parts of driving here just make me plain crazy, like the buses always cutting me off and the constant traffic and construction.  

But, truly, everyday as I drive around I think how thankful I am that these are our surroundings.  I love to talk to the kids about all that we see and process all that is foreign to us.  Our eyes are always being opened and our western ways always being challenged.  It is a gift.

All of these pictures were taken on our 2 mile route to and from school.  The quality isn't great because I took them while driving, but I wanted to be able to share a little of Lima.  

These first pictures are from the streets of our neighborhood as you leave it.

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Once we go through the above light, we are out of our neighborhood and on a very busy street full of taxis, combis, and buses.  This street is full of shops mainly selling home improvement supplies like flooring, paint, sinks and bathtubs.  A new mall also sits at a huge intersection on this street.  We can actually walk to this mall which is nice since it has a grocery store, food court, and cheap ice cream.  

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After that intersection, you drive just a bit more on that street, passing a police station (which is constantly guarded by men carrying machine guns).

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Across from the police station, there is a cemetery which has this life-size statue of Jesus laying in a glass case.

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Soon after the police station, you turn into a different district of Lima, as evidenced by the grass and flowers.  This is where the kids' school is located.

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There is also always construction on this street making it one lane on the way home.

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There is also another route we take to and from school that is a little more residential.  This route is quicker if it is a high traffic time of day.  And since I end up making this drive about 3 times a day, I'm always going different routes.

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These pictures are only a small glimpse of what we see.  I was putting off writing this post because I wanted to gather as many pictures as I could and I finally realized that I just can't capture it all.  You'll just have to come visit and see it all for yourself!

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