A City Within A City

Woke up to this posted on the bathroom door.

Don’t worry we all will together smell like pigs!

So, no shower para mi. Should be an aromatic next four days…

This morning was the first morning, after being here for five days, that I have seen the towering volcanoes that surround Arequipa.

Ingmar and I munched on our breakfast rolls and watched the clouds air out their pleats and reveal the snow covered buttresses of the volcanoes below. Twenty minutes later, a thick layer of clouds had hidden them again.

The entire group walked down the street to the Monasterio de Catalina. A city within a city, really. Dominican nuns lived in this monastery, undisturbed for 391 years, and in 1970 after a series of earthquakes and following renovations, the monastery opened its doors to the public.

Recall that Arequipa is known as The White City. Inside the monastery, the walls are bursting with color and intricate religious murals.

I deliberately took my time exploring the multitude of plazas, rooms, streets, and staircases to nowhere.

After a few hours of meandering through the silent walkways, I ran into Jalen and Lani, and we toured through the rest of the rooms together.

In a mellow mood after the monastery morning, I spent my afternoon on the roof of the hostel, reading in silence. I finished reading Dave Eggers’ What Is The What. An eye-opening read about the reality of life for one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. I flipped the last page and closed the back cover just as the sun began to sink behind the omniscient gray (with browns, reds, and purples) cloud that was the sky.

Claire, Josie, and I waved away Thursday to another side of the world.

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