There's No Place Like Home

When you're down and troubled and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there, yeah, yeah,
you've got a friend.”
                                                              James Taylor

My Arequipa phone number: 959 143 534 - probably need some area codes, then not sure if you need the first 9 when you add the area code or if you have to add a 1 or a 0 ... 54 is Arequipa’s area code, 51 is the country code.

We arrived at the terminal in Arequipa. I had only about three dollars in soles and I needed an ATM. The bus terminals in Puno and Juliaca were small, and did not have ATMs. I couldn’t remember about Arequipa, and I had no idea if Yesenia had gotten my message. I asked the doorman at the terminal and he pointed at the big lovely modern ATMs. The Scotiabank one looked great, and gave me $1000 soles (that’s about $350). I suddenly felt a lot better, and the memories of the horrible night started to fade away. 

I saw a telephone place, and gave Yesenia a call. She said she was already on her way, she would be there in five minutes, and she was. As she walked towards me and gave me a hug, suddenly I remembered all the reasons I needed to come to South America, and to travel from La Paz to Arequipa. I was so relieved and so happy to see a friendly face. We drove to the new apartment, a little sad not to be going back to the old one, the one we knew, wondering what this one would be like. But that one has been sold, and Patricia, the lady I stayed with last time, has moved, and so Yesenia found us a new accommodation. 

The apartment is beautiful, and the family that owns it is super nice. In South America, at least in Peru, it is common for a family to own a big house that is split into several apartments that sometime share some common areas, like backyard, driveway, laundry, and much of the outdoor space. Indoor and outdoor space is not like in Canada. Sometimes in this hot desert country, there are open hallways and courtyards that are used like we would use indoor space. So in this house there are three or four families living who are all related, grandparents, aunts & uncles.

We had a lovely first day. Yesenia stayed and helped me get settled, and said she had a phone I could borrow while I was here. I went out and bought groceries at the mall, and made butter chicken and Indian rice for Aodhan. Later Patricia and her kids Maria Fernandez and Santiago, and their missionary friend from the USA came over and visited. Yesenia came back and gave me the phone. By the time everyone left, it was late and we were all very tired.

Living Room


Aodhan and I share a bedroom. There are two other empty rooms, and I probably could move Aodhan into one of those, but I discovered something about him this summer. He really likes having a room mate. If someone wants to come visit, I’m sure we can get beds in one or both of the other rooms. 

En suite bathroom

Second bathroom

Crazy shower heads that are plugged in and covered with tape that everyone has. 

My roof deck. Not much to look at it, but when you are surrounded by mountains, who's looking at the deck ... and hey, it's better than the roof deck I don't have at home:) 
My clothes dry up here in about an hour or so.

Our park across the street.

The Andes mountains surrounding Arequipa.


The mountains - to the right is the Volcano “Misti”

The new mall. Last time I was here, there was one small mall. 
In four short years they have built 5 giant malls.

The main courtyard of the mall. Notice it there is no roof. 
This is a really good example of indoor/outdoor space. I often wish I lived in a place like this, it really maximizes your usable space.

In Peru, you don't get tubs of yogurt, you get bottles of drinkable yogurt at a fraction
 of the "Yop" price. Laive is my favourite brand of dairy products down here. 
They have every fruit flavour including Lucuma.

This is one of the stores in the mall. If they move into the US or Canada, I'm thinking they will have to change their name, or at least change their advertising to:
"Crepier stuff for creepier people"

 I'm just wondering if "turron" translates to "Turd Cake"? Ok, this one is not going to sell in Canada... And, no, I'm not sure what is in the middle that looks like a slug. 
A big prune maybe?