RPCV Returns to Peru      (continued from p. 10)

Also they sold part of the land their house was on and changed the exterior walls.. They had to tell me when we were sitting in the room that my old roommate Rosemary and I used as our room since none of the floor plan was the same as the 2 years that we lived with them

Lucho was very proud of his garden - in a relatively small space he grows everything you can imagine and a bit more,. While naming it all for us he saw that the avocado tree was just growing baby avocados which caused him to clap his hands with joy since he loves avocados. Rosalia  cooked us a very nice lunch, with one of the best tamales ever as a primer plato, and freshly cooked vegetables in a salad. Surprising to hear, they boil all their water, just as the Bendezu's now do. It was wonderful seeing them again although we're all so much older. Why does this keep happening?

Something funny happened regarding food. Nick now likes tomato juice everyday, preferably spicy as in a Bloody Mary so he asked for it at a restaurant. It arrived with a garnish, straws and ice but when he started sipping he made a face - it had been sweetened with sugar. So next he asked for unsweetened tomato juice, the waiter took it away and after a while brought back another glass filled with a frothy deep pick mixture.. It had the most incredible taste! Exactly like tomatoes, not surprising since they had simply taken tomatoes, put them in the blender and then strained it. If you can get good tomatoes try it some time on the rocks. Delicious!

Nick loved the sun in Arequipa, and there was no place better to find it than in the Plaza de Armas, the main square which is large and beautiful with a church taking up one whole side. Lining the square are colonades with shops, restaurants, etc. The plaza has been enhanced since my day with more plantings, and an upgrade to the fountain, more water flow, but it's still topped by the lively little figure which our friend Victor said was called "Tuturutu." Since it was spring the trees were in bloom as well - purple jacarandas, something coral colored and lots of yellow broom. By the middle of the day there were so many people there that you had to look hard to find a bench to sit down.

Actually the sun burned down so fiercely at 7500 ft. that we decided to go to the second story of one of the colonnades for some refreshment. There was a wonderful view of the whole plaza there, and what do you know, here comes a parade, a large one filling all four sides of the Plaza's streets with schoolchildren with signs, and drums. They went around several times, disappearing completely for a half hour and then returning for another round. We tried to read the signs from above and it seemed to be about more severe punishment for criminals, also for peace and for an end to crime.

We puzzled over the motive for the parade. Later in the day while taking a taxi  I asked the chofer what this was all about. He said "It's against the President of the country."  This didn't tie into the signs

at all; it's still a mystery, one that could only be solved by living in Peru.

Another day up in the colonnades, another parade. Whole bands were in this one and it was very exciting, the way parades often are. This one was the anniversary of the Alliance Francaise' founding in Arequipa. There was a loudspeaker and at one point they had speakers congratulating the Aliance first in Quetchuan, then in Aymara (used in the Southern Andes including Bolivia) , then Spanish, etc., ending up with Chinese and Korean. The main speaker made the point that the parade was also to celebrate all the world's languages. Where else would one ever see hundreds of people in a parade to celebrate languages!

The Sol de Mayo is a restaurant in Yanahuara a district of the city with natural elevation where they've built a beautiful "mirador", a set of arches with very interesting carving that show off the scene behind - Misti, Pichu-Pichu, and Chachani. We asked Lucho and Rosalia Huanaiqui to eat there with us. Walking into the entrance off the street leads to a large open space with beautifully tended grass and a kind of arcade around it. The tables are under the arches and on the grass. Waiters can be seen running lightly over the grass with trays. There are musicians as well. It's very pricey for Peruvians (but not at all in dollars), and seemed like it would be a nice treat for them.

The headwaiter waited on and I told him that Lucho had been a

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Volume 14, Issue 4

Page 11