On Sunday we had a great opportunity to represent Penn State here in Lima by interviewing on a local radio station, Radio San Borja. Dr. Urbina, Dr. Freeman, and three of us got to actually go in and answer questions live, which was fun, but a little intimidating, especially because Judson and myself do not speak Spanish and needed our questions and answers translated. Marianna, however, rocked her Spanish and did an awesome job. Thankfully the questions were easy like ``Why did you choose Penn State?´´ and ``Why did you choose your major?´´, which we all get asked pretty regularly. We were also asked about why we are in Peru, so we got to talk about our project a little bit, and give a shout out to Esan and UNI for being awesome university hosts. Overall it was a cool experience and we got to represent Penn State in another country, which is always exciting. WE ARE...!!!!!
After the radio show we got into our taxis and drove out to a mall called Mega Plaza to get a quick lunch at Planet Chicken before going to another informal settlement about two hours outside of Lima proper. If I did not believe Lima was in a desert before, I believed it after Sunday. After driving through the desert for a while, we finally stopped and got out of our cars to look around. We saw a few simple dwellings created with minimal resources, spread out in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. There were no stores, and no people we could see. We learned that this is the beginnings of a new informal settlement, which over the next 15 to 20 years will slowly develop into the informal settlement we visited on Friday, which was much larger and more developed. After visiting these informal settlements Friday and Sunday, I feel both humbled and enlightened by how much these people persevere to survive and thrive with the opportunities they have. I appreciate being able to see a more broad perspective, and I think a more accurate picture of Peru, by seeing every aspect of the country, rather than just the typical tourist destinations.