Just a couple of days to go before leaving to Peru. Although it's so close, and people come to me constantly (or at least that's what it feels like), asking things like "are you all packed for Peru"? Or: "have you prepared everything for your trip"? it still feels so far away because I'm still so taken up in my life here. And no, two days before leaving I have not yet packed, and, well, if you call flight booked, accommodation booked and Lonely Planet bought prepared, then yes, I guess I am prepared :-)
But to be fair enough, I feel "ready" just because I have already been to Lima and know the neighborhood where I'll be staying. Of course living there will be completely different. But as I have lived in various places I don't really feel worried about that either - plus this time everything feels so organized: when I decided to live in Madrid I went there without knowing a word of Spanish or having accommodation or a job. And now I know the language, have a place to stay and something sensible to do - so wow - I guess I'm ready :-)
Another question everyone asks me: "Are you going to see Lamas"? To tell you the truth, I've only become obsessed with Lamas since everyone is asking me this question. And, although this might disappoint some of you: during my previous stay in Peru I did not see any Lamas in Lima - thinking back I actually only saw some on Machu Pichu (the "lawn mowers" I called them, as they did an excellent job keeping the grass short - and they looked so picturesque doing so too! In Mexico at the pyramids they had people hand cutting the grass with huge scissors - who, although colorfully dressed, felt less "authentic" than the Lamas at Machu Pichu). So, back to my Lamas: after leaving Machu Pichu I only recall to have seen Alpacas, but no more Lamas. So, although Lamas seem to be Peru's national animal (at least to us foreigners), you don't see them walking through the street in every town...
But let me say a few words to my real cause in Peru: ever since I started supporting our flood resilience program through Social Media activities I was fascinated by it and felt really enthusiastic to be part of such a worthwhile cause. And now I get to work for our partner Practical Action myself - in Lima! I am so much looking forward to learning more about their work - to not only help their cause but also to be able to communicate much more effectively about Zurich's work in these flood prone areas.
As I don't want to bore you before I've started I'll stop now - but this won't be the last time you've heard from me :-)