Thursday, November 13, 2008

Springtime: Peru Part I

I am not staying true to my original intention of this blog, to expand upon Lo Maximo, including our lives as overseas teachers and our daily happenings in our host countries. While Maximo is an interesting specimen to blog about daily, I'm trying to branch out a bit and include our expat lives. Don't worry, the blog will remain super-saturated with Maximo, grandmas not to fret.

Springtime in Peru, well, is an anomaly. The weather here is strange and one must always dress in layers to be comfortable throughout the day. Before we moved here, we saw that it pretty much remains between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit - that sounded pleasant... and it never rains! This sounded doubly intriguing. While I do love a full blown Southern thunder and lightening storm, planning trips to the park or picnics and cookouts are much easier when there's no chance of precipitation.

Anyways, it's supposedly springtime here. As you can see, trees are starting to shoot green leaves and the weather is changing. It's still strange to me, even after three years that the seasons are flip flopped. I often confuse my kids when I refer to "summer", because in my world (that scary place) I have two summers, one in January - February and one in July. I do like that.

To me, there are really only two seasons here in Peru - the sunny season: December - April and the gray season: the rest. We do get a few sunny days (a couple of hours on a few days) during the gray season, but not too many.

The sunny season is great on the immediate coast - really blue skies, a cool breeze coming off the chilly Pacific. Inland, even a ten minute drive east from our house, it's a hot, sticky, dusty mess. Therefore, school during this time, is not great. I normally wear flip flops all summer long. Here, your feet are COVERED in grit and grime in minutes, regardless of where you are.

The gray season is damp, a cold that sticks to your bones and feels much colder than the 55 degrees it really is. Many mornings, it's quite misty, enough to have to wash your car twice a week, definitely not enough to wash anything away from the streets. When it's cold here, it's cold and there is no escaping it. There is no central heating and air in any homes, very few places have it - maybe the movie theater (I think that's it). One is likely to find me about 5 minutes after getting home from work during the "winter" in sweatpants, my slippers, and a sweatshirt, because once the cold and dampness get in - I can get it out of my body until I take a steaming hot shower.

So right now, we're kind of between the gray season and the sunny season. It's important to wear layers and always have sunscreen handy, because when it's sunny here, it'll scorch your skin in minutes. I wear spf 30 here daily, which is a huge jump from the girl who use to douse herself with baby oil, spray Sun-In in her hair and layout at the beach or in the yard for a full day.

There are A LOT of things I'll miss about Peru. The weather in Lima will not be one of them. Right now, I'm currently counting down the days until summer (as most teachers do) for two months of freedom (our last summer in Peru) and for a little sunshine to warm my soul.

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