We're here in Piura, "the city of eternal heat." This is the closest that I've ever been to the equator, but the heat doesn't seem to be bothering me much. What is bothering me is my stomach. All of the octopus, guinea pig, and other exotic meats that I don't eat in the United States (oh yeah, and the beef, pork, and chicken, too) have finally caught up to me. Fortunately, my host family is taking very good care of me, with plenty of tea, soup, and Sportade (Peruvian Gatorade).
I think everyone else is feeling more or less ok, although some of us are starting to feel less rather than more. We are one day past the halfway point of the Rotary portion of our adventure. The two weeks we've been here feel like two months... or two years. Fortunately, we have this afternoon to rest and relax, so hopefully the other ladies will have time to chime in with their impressions.
One thing I've enjoyed greatly on this adventure is seeing and learning about plant and animal species native to Peru. I'd like to share some of the plants that exist here, but not in Ithaca. I'll start with some of the trees and succulents. I'll save the tropical fruits and animals of Peru for another post. :)
The floripondio tree is small, distinguished by large, white, trumpet-shaped flowers that hang downward. This picture is from Trujillo.
This isn't a tree, but I'll include it anyway. Sugar cane is an important crop here. We visited a sugar cane processing plant outside of Trujillo (I think... the days are starting to blur together!).
There are cactuses in the sierra (the mountainous region, such as near Huaraz), as well as the desert areas near the coast (such as Trujillo and Piura). Here is a typical cactus. I took this picture in Huaraz.