Karencita de Perú

Making New Friends – Hacer Amigos Nuevos

Posted on: September 27, 2010

In the 5 months I have lived in Lima one of the things I have been very bad at is socializing.  Actually, other than through Luis, I hadn’t met any new people until this weekend.   However, I finally got the opportunity and took the initiative to make some acquaintances, which will hopefully grow into new friendships.

Friday night I went to a Women with Wine event.   As the website says, it is an informal group of women, mostly foreigners, that get together once a month at someone’s house to talk and drink wine.  I had found out about this group prior to leaving Vancouver and signed up on the website to receive information but didn’t hear anything until August.   They had an event in August but I couldn’t go as we already had plans for that night.  So, when I received the notice of the next event on September 24th, I made sure I was able to go.

The event was at a house not too far from where I live. Luis walked me there and picked me up afterward.   Each person brings a snack and a bottle of wine to the event, so there is lots of drinking and eating.  I made peanut butter cookies which where a great success.  Peanut butter is expensive and not very good here so there aren’t a whole lot of peanut butter cookies being baked in the kitchens of Peru.

In total there were about 25 women at the event from the U.S., Canada, England, Australia and even one girl from Taiwan.  The age range was from mid-20’s to mid-50’s with the average age being 30-something.  The length of time people have lived in Peru varied from as recent as 2 weeks up to 5 years.

It was so interesting to hear everyone’s story about why they are living in Peru, what kind of work they do here and their experiences living in what is considered a Developing Country.  The two main reason why most of the women are living in Peru are for work or for a relationship.   A lot of the girls have Peruvian boyfriends or husbands and the most common occupation is teaching English.  However, most people supplement their income doing other jobs.

Everyone was extremely friendly and willing to share their experience, knowledge and advise on any topic.  One lady, who has been here two months, told me about two very interesting organizations that she joined to help meet new people in Lima.

The first is called Lima Walks.  It is run by a man from Holland who has been in Lima for 2 years.  He gives guided walking tour of various districts around Lima.  The walks are on Saturday and/or Sunday and usually last 2 to 3 hours.  Each walk costs $10 USD.

I joined two of the ladies from Women with Wine to do the Saturday morning walk in the Rimac district.   I really enjoyed the walk and learned about a place I would have never ventured into on my own.  I also met some other foreigners who are living here in Lima.  Lima Walks is a great way to meet new people and learn about the city at the same time.  I plan to attend more walks in the future!

The other organization that my new friend told me about is called South American Explorers Club.  They have a clubhouse in Lima which, apart from providing travel information and advice, has weekly social activities.  I plan to attend an English/Spanish language exchange on Wednesday evening.

I don’t think I realized how much I missed socializing with people until I got a taste of it again.   If anyone ever moves to a new country, my first piece of advice would be to not wait so long to find groups and organization to join to meet new people.  Do it right away because it is important to be able to talk with people who are also foreigners in the same country and can understand what you are going through.

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