Vida Huancaína

Our adventure in the Andes

6 lessons from our first 6 months in Peru

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We’ve had a lot of experiences living here in Huancayo so far, and we’ve also learned a lot of lessons.  Here are our top 6 lessons from our first 6 months here in Peru.

1) Taxis can be used to haul pretty much anything.  The most prevalent taxi here is a white, boxy station wagon, perfect for hauling a variety of items–whether it’s 5+ adults crammed into the back seat, two sheep in the trunk, or 6 mattresses strapped to the roof!

Typical taxi... unfortunately I'm never quick enough with the camera to get a shot of one of them hauling something crazy!

Typical taxi… unfortunately I’m never quick enough with the camera to get a shot of one of them hauling something crazy!

2) You must really like potatoes.  With some 2,800 varieties of potatoes grown in Peru, nearly every dish is served either with a side of potatoes or with potatoes incorporated into the dish itself.  Big plate of spaghetti?  Serve it with some plain, boiled potatoes on the side.  Fried rice?  Put some potato chunks in there and fry them up too. The potato possibilities are endless.

There's a WHOLE room just for the potatoes!

At Mercado Mayorista there’s a WHOLE room just for the potatoes!

Potatoes as far as the eye can see...

Agriculture display at the Feria de Yauris – Potatoes as far as the eye can see…

 3) Every day is a good day to dress up your dog.  Dogs are beloved pets here and owners express their affection by dressing them up in everything from sports jerseys to hoodies to Halloween costumes.  No dog is too big or too small for an outfit, either.  We’ve seen everything from a Cocker Spaniel in a lady bug costume to a German Shepherd in an orange fleece jacket!

Puppy in purple!

Puppy in purple!

Puppy in plaid!

Puppy in plaid!

4) There’s a reason there are so many chicken places.  It’s DELICIOUS.  With at least one pollo a la brasa (chicken roasted over charcoal or firewood) restaurant on every block (sometimes right next door to each other!), you can tell how much people love their chicken here–and we love it, too!

Pollo a la leña at our fave place in Huancayo, La Leña

Yummy chicken at our fave place in Huancayo, La Leña

5) It’s a knitter’s paradise. Between the abundance of alpaca and wool yarn and the proclivity of ladies to knit pretty much everywhere (while tending to their ice cream cart, while shopping at the market, or while walking down the sidewalk of a busy street–which must be just as dangerous as texting and walking in my opinion!), Peru is a place for knitters.

Top row: naturally dyed wool yarns.  Bottom row: undyed, natural alpaca yarns.

My fave yarn shop in Hualhuas, Peru! Top row: naturally dyed wool yarns. Bottom row: undyed, natural alpaca yarns.

Beautiful alpaca/llama blended yarns at another shop in Hualhuas, guarded by a sleeping puppy

Beautiful alpaca/llama blended yarns at another shop in Hualhuas.

6) Only dress up in traditional costume and dance if you want to have a lot of fans.  We stick out here already, but put us in a traditional outfits to dance with the locals and we have fans for life.  We still hear people saying, “Los gringos bailan lindo” (The foreigners dance well) when we go to the local market…four months later.

All dressed up and ready to dance!

All dressed up and ready to dance for Carnaval!

Here’s to more great experiences and lessons in the months to come!

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4 thoughts on “6 lessons from our first 6 months in Peru

  1. Love the pictures and commentary. I’m learning a lot. Ever thought about writing a potato cookbook?

    Like

  2. Pingback: Two weeks! | Vida Huancaína

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