We’ve been taking our daily walk down the beach and back, with comfortable silent stretches as we each admire the view and think our own thoughts. I suspect we’re mulling over similar topics. How much will we miss Peru? We’ll miss the beach and our daily walk, the glorious sun and breeze, the sand under our feet and the waves sloshing around our ankles. We’ll miss our neighbors. We’ll miss gorgeous sunsets (I hear they do have those in other places).
There are some intermediate things where the pluses are balanced by minuses. We like being close to the source of our food, buying fish that were swimming yesterday, ducks that were quacking earlier in the day, fruits and vegetables in a lot less packaging than if they come from a supermarket. Everything in the market is colorful. Our bounty comes with the fishy smell of the vendors’ stalls, the dogs skulking behind the butcher’s counter, the occasional worm still wriggling out of the ear of corn, and the occasional squishy thing underfoot that I try not to think about.
Barranca Market (clockwise from upper L): Chicken vendor with Covid protection, behind the butchers counter, display of hair tie, tiger draped with clothing, watermelon saleswoman wearing shirt of Peru national soccer team.
There are petty annoyances that I won’t miss (uncontrolled dogs), though in general Peru is like everywhere else, great, though not perfect. We have very nice neighbors, and excellent weather here on the coast, with no rain, just some damp fog in the winter.
Now, there are two weeks to pack as though we are not returning. Whether we return or not remains to be seen. We’re going to dispose of everything we can, pack and ship the rest, and leave the house so that someone else could move right in. We’re not taking any furniture with us. Most of it was constructed for this house and is a bit oversized for any place that doesn’t have large rooms and high ceilings. We’re taking some of our favorite artwork, especially if we get a reasonable quote from the shipping company we’ve contacted. On our flight home, we’re allowed two suitcases each that can weigh up to 70 lb, and we intend to take our full allottment.
We each have begun a donation pile of clothing that is too old, too large, too small, or too weird, to accompany the disused tall hiking boots, the stuffed parrot someone gave me, the stray games and puzzles, and other leftovers.
In my studio over Fernando and Dalmira’s apartment, I discovered how much miscellaneous stuff I’ve accumulated over the past five or six years. I’ve been working on sorting and packing for a week, and I’m not finished yet. Below are some of the items we’re going to try and ship home.
L-R (top): Macaw sewing box, melamine bird plates, salt pig (Sicily)
L-R (middle): replica Chancay pot, Sarhua painted boards, replica Chancay figurine (there are 2, male and female), Bolivian weaving
L-R (bottom, clockwise from L): Paracas style weaving, Ayacucho sculpture of people riding elephant, bird banks (2), Jonathan and Wini sign (by Leila Tizon Wilson)
We have until Tuesday morning, Feb. 15, 2022, to wedge as many things as possible into our luggage. We have our antigen tests for our entry into the US scheduled in Lima at 2 pm that day, and then we’re on our way.