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Report 2008: Peru - Land of the Incas

By Paula G. Cullison from Arizona, Summer 2011

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Page 2 of 9: Lima

Arriving in the Lima airport is an experience. Hundreds come to meet the planes. Our flight arrived at 10:30pm and was to have been met by the hotelís representative. Search as I might, my name did not appear on any of the signs. What a dilemma for a woman traveling alone! I was approached by a man wearing a badge who offered to help me. He phoned the hotel and located my driver who had my name spelled incorrectly on a small piece of paper. Upon entering his unmarked car, the driver asked me to put my handbag on the floor least someone break the window and steal it. Oh my God (OMG)!! What was I in for! I gave it all up to the Universe and rationalized that I had a good life and hoped that it wasnít over ... yet.

The Miramar Hotel, which I found through hotels.com, was centrally located in the Miraflores section of Lima. I spent the first four nights and the last night of my trip there. The room was comfortable, the breakfast buffet was plentiful, the lobby was attractive, the Internet use was free, and the staff was accommodating. Although the rate was very reasonable, I would have been given an additional discount had I contacted them directly. I think this is pretty common.

During these first few nights I had some very special experiences. One night my friendís mother Angela took me to dinner in the restaurant of the luxurious Los Delfines Hotel (in the San Isidro section). The buffet dinner offerings were absolutely delicious culinary delights, as was the Pisco Sour, a national drink. It was such a pleasure to have seen Angela again after our chance meeting in Virginia. I had hoped to see her at the end of my trip, so that I would have had time to polish my Spanish speaking ability; but no matter, I muddled through.

Another night was dinner with Justin, the AIESEC student from University of Michigan. The front desk suggested Las Brujas de Cachiche restaurant, an upscale and favorite of the locals located within walking distance of the hotel. I must note that the Cerviche was outstanding. Meeting with Justin was a pleasure. He is a very adaptable young man who seems at home in Lima. Proficient in Spanish, he has mastered the complex public bus system. The trainee-ship in Lima has been a great learning experience for him. Knowing that he is self-reliant and open to new experiences will enable him to succeed no matter where he goes next, especially since we live in a global society. For him as for other students, this is the best part of an AIESEC trainee-ship. Justin offered to make contact with the AIESEC Chapter in Cuzco, so I could meet with another student. I appreciated his willingness to help me.

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