I have been loving the food here in Peru! I eat most of my meals with my host family, and my host mom Carmen is a great cook. My breakfast typically consists of bread, called pancito, with either eggs or avocado, some fruit, and tea or coffee. I think I’ve drunk more tea since I’ve been in Peru than I have in my whole life before this combined; I usually drink at least 3 cups a day!
When I am at school, we always have a break from 10:00-10:30. This is also designated snack time; I feel like I’m back in kindergarten! I come home from school every day to eat lunch at around 1:00. My typical lunch is any variation of a dish made of potatoes, rice, vegetables, and meat. I eat so many potatoes here! Good thing they are one of my favorite foods.
Because the altitude in Cuzco causes digestion to be slower, many Peruvians do not eat a big dinner, maybe just some bread and tea. However, my host mom always feeds me dinner. Usually, I eat leftovers of what I had for lunch at dinnertime plus a dessert. My host mom loves to bake!
Although the food here is really good and also much fresher than the food I’m used to, I have started to miss certain foods from home. The other day, I was really craving some chili and cornbread, and right now, I could really go for some macaroni and cheese!
At first, the language barrier here was really intimidating, and I had some difficulties communicating. However, these past few weeks, I have definitely noticed an improvement in my Spanish-speaking abilities! I always eat meals with my host family and try to participate in their conversations. I usually at least understand the majority of what people are saying here, and most of the time, I can get the idea across of what I am trying to say (including a few grammar errors!). The other night, I had a conversation with my taxi driver, and we both understood each other so I felt pretty successful!
Most people in Peru speak Spanish as their primary language, but there are also over 40 indigenous languages! One of my classes is Quechua which is one of the official languages of Peru along with Spanish. Quechua is the second most commonly spoken language here. My host mom can understand it and speak a little bit of it; sometimes after class, she asks me what I learned of Quechua that day, and I always have a hard time remembering the words at that moment! My taxi driver also taught me a few new words the other day. Quechua is very different than any other language I have heard before. A lot of the words are very long and difficult to pronounce. Depending on the way you pronounce the word, it can mean something totally different! I now know some useful phrases in three languages:
I’m from Georgia. (English)
Soy de Georgia. (Spanish)
Georgiamantan kani. (Quechua)
The language has been the most difficult thing for me to adjust to in Peru, but I am learning so much every day. I am excited to continue this adventure of immersing myself in a new culture!
Other fun updates:
I signed up with some of my friends to take dance classes this month!