June 4th, 2011
Free day today. But first, we had met back at El Sol school this morning to pick up our “graduation” certificates. We didn’t realize we were stepping into an hour and a half lecture after we received our certificates, which was fine, except we were all really anxious to spend our free day exploring Lima on our final day. However, I was really pleased with the presentation. It was about a lot of background and historical context of Peru, and then branched into discussing politics and the economy, leading up to today, and the upcoming election, for which votes are cast tomorrow. It is really interesting to have been able to watch this race for the presidency from Peru. I felt so much more educated about the candidates and the seriousness of this election. It has been interesting talking to the Peruvians about the election and whom they will vote for. Neither candidate is ideal, so the population is left to decide who they think is the better of two evils. Our presenter, the founder of El Sol, and a US man who is now a Peruvian citizen, revealed to us that his vote is for Keiko because he feels Peru’s continued advancement stands a far better chance under her than Ollanta. We also discussed that the race is very close, which I did not realize. I was under the impression that Keiko was probably going to win since I see her name plastered everywhere I turn, but I learned that Keiko signs aren’t flooding all of Peru, but they were prominent in Lima, a city that primarily supports Keiko currently. Ollanta has the advantage by winning all the votes from the uneducated population, those residing far out of Lima.
Tonight was really wonderful. Our group convened around 6pm at what I have heard is the nicest restaurant in Lima. When Natalie, Syeda, and I got out of the taxi we walked the pier to get to La Rosa Nautica, where right alongside us were surfers taking their last runs of the day. The restaurant sparkled over the waves. Everyone looked quite dapper, all dressed up for the occasion. The room we were seated in for dinner was incredible, situated on the pier, with one wall lined with mirrors, and the other of complete windows, looking out onto the ocean. As a vegetarian, I couldn’t partake in eating the seafood appetizers that were whisked out to us, impeccably arranged in giant crustacean shells, but everyone said the dishes were amazing.
A few people headed out to see the light show at the Parque de Agua when dinner was finished, but I opted to come home because I still need to pack for Cusco, which I am about to go do now!