Monday, July 12, 2010

Lima is a cloudy desert

We arrived yesterday in Lima to a sky of low clouds and a sandy coastline. After walking along the Malecon, which offers views of the Pacific littered with surfers, we found a bar to watch the World Cup finals. Viva Espana!

Today we met with Dr. Jorge Recharte at The Mountain Institute, who will be our main contact in Huaraz to discuss our itinerary. He will help us organize visits to the Cordillera Negras and Blancas to interact with the local campesinos and gain an understanding of their cultures and water systems.

After this successful venture, we taxied to The Autoridad Nacional del Agua (ANA), Peru's main source of water data and national infrastructure projects. The scene: two white females in a room with six (very) important Peruvian water engineers--who were speaking in Spanish--in a small, small room. Quite intimidating...and after about 20 minutes of discussion (which mainly involved me fumbling my way through the conversation), the Director of the Conservation of Hydrologic Resources of Peru asked if I would enter into a formal agreement whereby ANA provides all available water data and I would share my project results. Why, yes!

This successful day ended with chocolate filled churros and an impromptu circus with dancing ponies in the streets in Miraflores. No pictures to prove it, just got to trust that it happened.

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