Tuesday, May 18

A day in old Arequipa: Mollebaya

Last weekend Noelia (a friend from the English institute) took me to the outskirts of the Arequipa, to one of the traditional villages that are not yet part of the sprawling urban growth that has overtaken the city's countryside in recent years. Her best friend's father is the mayor of the town, which must have less than 100 people living in it. 

When we arrived, we went walking to buy some water. On the way to the store, everyone said "Buenos dias" to me, which, only 30 minutes away in downtown Arequipa, is not common. We passed a family pulling their two cattle behind them. The community's cathedral had finally been rebuilt after the steeple fell during the 2001 earthquake. 

From there, we hiked about 30 minutes to the hill overlooking the town. Noelia and I could see Misti, the volcano, the Chachani mountains in the distance, and the green fields that surround Arequipa, a city of 1 million. 

Noelia, pictured here, and I talk mostly in English because when I'm around her I get all shy about my Spanish. She spent two years in Parker, in my home state of Colorado, as an au pair, so we have a lot to talk about. We also have the same taste for hiking. I think I found myself another good friend. 

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