I am so pleased to have this opportunity to say hello to all of Living in Peru's beloved readers and subscribers. Thank you to Mr. Living in Peru for allowing me to borrow his regular Saturday morning slot for the day and greet his crew of readers. Before I go any further, please sit back, make yourself comfortable with a glass of greens or cup of jo and allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Hope, or in Peru, Esperanza, Job, Ope, Joup. I have lived in Peru for almost three years, originally arriving here on a fateful day, September 11th, 2014 to start my Peace Corps service. Peace Corps is a development organization of the US government; we work in a slew of developmental areas like health, environmental management, youth, education etc. I was a proud volunteer of the community-based environmental management program serving in Moche, Moche, Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru. For two years I worked and lived among the community members of Moche, implementing with them, environmental awareness campaigns, courses, networks and celebrations.
(Photo: Hope Ansanelli)
It was a very real introduction to Peru and I am so happy that it was my first experience here before moving to the country's capital. Lima, for me, is like any other major world city, full of traffic, noise, fast-paces, pressure and ambition. This is a stark contrast to say the least, to where I 'grew' up in Peru. The first thing a cab driver will say to you in Moche and Trujillo, is how 'tranquilo' the area is. They would love to ask me which place I preferred, and I knew the winning answer, and for a while I did prefer the more laid-back and relaxed environment that northern Peru provided. Every morning I was woken up (well several times starting from 3 a.m. onwards) by the hens that were raised in my backyard. If I was lucky, the water was running that day and I would cool down from the coastal desert heat. On other days, well, you just did without.
As I write this, I am aware of the natural disasters happening all over Peru, and in Moche, and I am trying hard to do my part. Having lived there and seen the area and infrastructure, I can assure you that this will change people's lives forever and many will lose everything they have with no promise of it ever returning. To help, please visit this article and see where you can donate.
Besides working on environmental projects, I also had the pleasure of teaching yoga. I had a weekly class down at the beach and I also taught for different groups around town. To my surprise, my phone would ring off the hook with people trying to schedule a yoga class for their groups of senior citizens, health post nurses, school teachers etc. I did not expect such enthusiasm or awareness about yoga, nor that it would end up being my way of integrating into the community. Of course once service ends, many volunteers head home, but well, I accomplished the fourth unofficial goal of Peace Corps, I fell in love. I will never forget my mother telling me at the airport the day I left for Peru, “promise not to fall in love and not return back here”. Mothers always know. Peruvians always ask me about my parents and how they felt about me living here. Luckily enough, I am the youngest of 5 siblings who have already paved that path of exploration and adventure, so my moving was of no surprise.
(Photo: Hope Ansanelli)
(Photo: Hope Ansanelli)
The move to Lima was very exciting. I had visited often and being from New York, I felt very comfortable among the crowds and mixtures of cultures. There is always something to do here, from walking along the beautiful boardwalks, strolling and picnicking in parks, to the abundance of street fairs and events. Not to mention the food! I love the variety of restaurants in Lima and also finding my favorite ingredients and cooking them at home. If you ever want a list of restaurants or home-cooked recipes, let me know!
It was only a few short weeks after I moved in that I saw our former wonderful editor, Agnes Rivera's post on facebook about a new editor position at Living in Peru (LIP). Beyond the role, I was drawn by her description of “a sense of humor is a plus”. I have never felt comfortable working in a formal work environment, or one where your opinion wasn't appreciated. Here at LIP you are free to be yourself and there is no hierarchy, we just work together as a team, streaming music, meeting deadlines and bouncing on our balls (instead of chairs). Everyday that I leave work and walk home, I think to myself how lucky I am to feel happy and motivated by my career. I feel this way, every single day.
I want to invite others into this community and as the new editor I look to expand and build upon this already great news portal. I want to hear from expats, food bloggers, writers etc., and add new perspectives. The written word allows us a unique opportunity to touch the lives of others and I believe that it can be a way to build connection and community, something I want very much for us and our readers. There will be many exciting things happening here at the paper in the following months and I want you to be a part of it.
I want to know: What would you like to see happen at Living in Peru moving forward? How can we best serve you?
Do you want to contribute an article, or become a regular contributor?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all.
I look so forward to hearing from you,
Living in Peru