On our previous trips to Peru, we’ve gotten around by taxi. This was challenging at first, because you have to be able to tell the taxi driver where you want to go, which requires that you know where you’re going and that you can put that into Spanish. You also have to be able to negotiate a price.
Now that we’re living here, and just a short hop from the girls’ home, it makes a lot more sense to take a “combi” – a bus of some sort. These are much cheaper than taxis, and the many routes are generally designated by the color of the combi and a sign in the windshield.
Traffic is chaotic by American standards. First time visitors might want to wear a blindfold. In three weeks here, though, we’ve only seen one fairly minor accident, and that didn’t involve a combi.
Our most exciting ride yet was in a larger combi with only our family and one other man. They picked us up near TF and then stopped at the next corner. The doorman jumped out of the bus with a bucket while the driver uncovered the engine. They then poured water from the ditch into/all over the radiator. Another bucket was gathered, at which time the driver took the chance to relieve himself behind the bus. When he returned, he finished pouring the bucket of water onto the engine while the doorman relieved himself. Then they put the radiator cap back on and covered the engine up. Now they had to make up time! Yikes! It was the fastest, craziest and noisiest ride we’ve had yet. With the engine revving and the whole bus rattling, we all just sat very still and stiff waiting to see how it was all going to go. We made it safe and sound but it was definitely memorable!
A few surprises:
- With the cooler nights this time of year (“winter”), the solar water heaters aren’t much good in the early morning. 220v electric shower heads ensure us hot showers every morning…so far so good; no one has electrocuted themselves!
- The grocery store has rice noodles and lactose free milk for Leslie! What a nice surprise.
- The kids are adapting really well, and seem to really like it here.
- We don’t have to give up milk, eggs, or BACON!
- A little altitude sickness the first day here, but nobody has been sick from the water or the food.
- The apartment Pastor Dario found for us is much better than what we had prepared ourselves to deal with. Thank you Lord!