Saludos from Lima!

Hi all!  I'm Erika, a member of the class of 2012, writing to you from the beautiful city of Lima, Peru. I'm
spending a semester abroad here in Peru as part of Olin's study away
program.  Since the southern hemisphere
has a completely different academic year in addition to completely different
seasons, I've been taking classes at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del
for almost two months now. It's
hard to believe I'm almost halfway through my study abroad experience



The stunning view of the city visible from the kitchen windows of my apartment, looking west-ish towards the Pacific Ocean, at sunset a few days ago.


One of the
things I wanted to do during my study abroad experience is be more spontaneous
and adventurous.  My life at Olin is
usually fairly structured--partly because I need to be organized to get
everything done, and partly because I like to plan ahead.  In Peru, I've been trying to just say 'yes' to
opportunities as they present themselves, which has resulted in a slew of
last-minute trips, a large expansion in the number of foods I eat, and tons of
fun!  Of course, it's impossible to sum
up two months in one blog post, but here are some of the things I've done so

  • Attempted (quite unsuccessfully) to sleep at
    14,000 ft, in a tent pitched near a paddock holding a herd of cows, in
    Yuracmayo located in the high sierra near Lima
  • Danced salsa at an outdoor party in Barranco, a neighborhood of Lima famous for its nightlife
  • Performed a Jominy test to determine the hardenability of a steel alloy in my Engineering of Materials Lab

Yuracmayo (your-uck-mai-oh): looking down the valley towards the reservoir. Yuracmayo has tons of bolted routes for sport climbing, and is beautiful and remote.

  • Celebrated the birthday of another exchange
    student at a party which was attended by people of at least ten(!) different
  • Been pulled over by the Peruvian National Police three times in five hours of driving a friend's car in the mountains of Peru, at checkpoints in villages along the mountain road
  • Competed in an inter-university bouldering competition here in Lima on behalf of my host university, the PUCP
  • Admired the Milky Way in the beautiful and tranquil rock forest of Hatun Machay in the Cordillera Negra, while enjoying delicious pachamanca prepared by the indigenous community that lives there


Me (far left) with other exchange students at Museo de la Nación here in Lima

Lima vs. Lueven Current Score:
Lima 12, Lueven 0


Lima Points: +2 for the awesome view from my apartment, +3 for awesome food in Peru, +2 for the fact that it never rains in
Lima, +3 'cause I fought the law, and +2 for the beautiful landscapes in

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