Arequipa at last!

After about ten minutes, the taxi driver stopped on a beautiful little street beside a very pretty park. There was playground equipment and big trees and even some animals in the park. My heart sang - was this my neighborhood??!! Could I be so lucky? The taxi driver waved for me to stay in the car and wandered off looking at address plates on houses and street signs. We sat in the car, watching the driver disappear around the corner. Well, I said to the kids, “at least he left us his car”. No keys, and our luggage is locked in the trunk, but at least we have the car??~ 10 minutes later he returned. Remember in Latin America, the rule is ~just go with it~. I am very good at going with the flow and singing Kay Sara Sara. Anyway in a few minutes our directionally challenged (as I’ve found many taxi drivers here are) taxi driver skittered back to the car with a frustrated smile and drove away from our beautiful park. We drove around a few more blocks and ended up only a block away from the park, where, despite the posted house numbers, he took five more minutes to find 305A.

So here’s where it gets a bit confusing. The person with whom I had been conversing up until now, the person at the school, is named Patricia. The person who’s house I am staying at is also named Patricia. I will call the first Patricia - “Patty”, and the lady who owns the house - “Patricia” - pronounced pa-tree-see-a.

Patricia showed me in and helped me with my bags and showed me my room. It was wonderful. Although after 36 hours on a bus, a pup tent at the side of the road would have looked pretty good. Patricia has two children, a 3 year old boy and a 12 year old girl.

She fed us and showed us around her house, which is the second level of a large house. She said that the apartment was downstairs - the downstairs is divided into two apartments. My apartment would be ready December 12th. Until then, I could stay with her. She said that it would probably be easier if I cooked for myself. She took me out to the main square where there is a grocery store and I got basic necessities and a precooked chicken and french fries for supper.

Patricia was an angel and her house, near the beautiful park, was heaven. We showered away 36 hours of stress and vomit, and slept.

Arequipa is beautiful. It is a wonderful mix of modern and antique. I highly recommend a visit.