It's been almost a week and have not had an opportunity to post, so a bit to catch up on..
After a semi pleasant night sleep and leisurely morning my host picks me up and we travel downtown to the Ministry for Women (where I will be based over the next couple of months). We travel on local transport. The Metropolitana is a new mode of transport in Lima, consisting of long buses driving along the speedway (freeway). Fares are about $,050 which is most reasonable and I invest in a mutiple travel card as I will be using the Metropolitana twice daily whenever I am in Lima.
My memory of the Ministry for Women and Social Development (MIMDES), which I visited in 2008 during APEC, is a dark old building, but it doesn't look half bad when we get there. The plaque on the outside says it all: more control and less exploitation. A few years ago, the Peruvian government passed an equal opportunity law.
My host takes me to a relatively new section, which supersedes my memory of a dingy floor where they organised the 2008 APEC WLN meeting. They haven't prepared a desk for me and there is a bit of shuffling around before they decide which work station is not occupied and I can sit at. They have requested a temporary pass to enter the building as well as a password to log into their system, but a week later there is no sign of either (true to form bureaucracy), but am not fussed as I am able to go online and access my email.
The bit that amuses me most is the fact that there is no paper in the printer ~ every person is doled out a small pile of paper ~ and they guard it with their life. Nor is there any paper in the toilet ~ not handy when you're not prepared. My immediate neighbour is kind enough to hand me some of hers. Outside the building is a vendor who sells toilet paper for 1 Nuevo Sol ($0,35) so I drop down and buy myself a roll. Hola, I am in business !
Lima is growing on me, especially after I ditched my overly protective B&B parents over the weekend and settled myself into an apartment in Miraflores. It's only two stops further on the metro and smack in the middle of the ritzy tourist area, but it's a safe location and walking distance from the shops, the metro and, yeah, the beach! After all the sitting in Bangladesh, I am grateful for the exercise. Besides, Lima's cliffs are breathtaking and the boulevard art is delicious.
|Cliff & Pier at Miraflores|