I don’t think travel is the same without the experience of miscommunication or language barriers. There is something to be said about the difficulty of getting your point across, when just asking someone doesn’t get you the answer, even if you are trying to speak their language. I like it, but it can be frustrating as well. It makes me want to learn all the languages so I can always talk to everyone. This doesn’t just happen when we’re away, but also at home, at work.
It’s unfortunate to me that the last couple of generations in North America have let their primary language go (although they may keep their culture or traditions to a certain extent) and have replaced it with English. It seems as though when people immigrated Canada and learned English they decided they didn’t need anything else, and so they didn’t pass on their language. I think its sad. I am thinking particularily in my family, the German was cut off at my grandparents. But why? I think when you have a second language, you can easily pick up more. We meet Europeans on our travels, like the girls from Holland, who spoke Dutch, German, French, and English! I know they live in close proximity to countries with other languages, but they also MUST learn them in school. Trying to learn another language as an adult is not impossible, but itwould be much easier as a child. I would like my kids to learn at least one other language maybe Spanish, or Mandarin because they are still widely spoken in the world.
Speaking of language, our hotel room is loud this afternoon, at nap time, because its Sunday, and there is some sort of festival going on at the park across the street. There are people putting on “shows” with microphones run on a generator in the park, with loud talking and singing in Spanich, attracting a crowd, for a purpose unknown to us. There are boat rides in the mini-pond, cotton candy, games, blow up toys, and snack vendors. The park is packed with locals having a relaxing afternoon in the only green space we’ve seen near here.
We made it out today, and took a taxi down near the plaza. We started at the museum of Santa Catalina where the frozen mummy Juanita was held in a cold frozen case. We learned from our guide that she was a noble in Inka times, and was 13 when the priests’ took her up to the top of the volcano, possibly gave her coca leaves and alcoholic drinks before a swift blow to her head killed her as a sacrifice to the gods. She was frozen solid in a near fetal position for 550 years, until the snow cap melted on the top of the volcano and she was found (not in the place she was placed, but 100 meters down in a crevace where her face started to melt) with all of her clothes, and offerings. A very interesting story that Royal children were sacrificed in this way. They found several more kids on volcanoes around the area of Arequipa and some down near Chile.
From the museum we went down the street to the Convent and had a self guided tour around the various rooms, kitchens, courtyards, church and garden. A very large place, that once housed 200 nuns. We stopped at the courtyard cafe and had some delicious pizza, before continuing on the other half of the tour.
Unfortunately the thing about Sundays, is that places are often closed. There are two more buldings we might need to check out tomorrow before we fly to back to Lima.
Following our several hour wander around the Spanish-style architechture of Arequipa, we made our way back to the hotel. The doctor called to see how josh is today. No fever, still has a rash, but overall is feeling better.