Hey Vegan Travelers!
I have so many wonderful things to tell you about in regards to Peru! Over the past few days, Ross and I have been exploring the absolutely beautiful city of Lima. It’s a huge city and has so much to offer in every way!
Looks like fun, right? And weirdly bright for how overcast and grey it always is in Lima! I promise we´re not squinting at you, readers!
As I said in my latest blog post, a lot of people were doubtful that we would find sufficient food here with our dietary restrictions and my incredibly rusty Spanish speaking skills. Thanks to a new Venezuelan friend that has helped me regain some of my previous Spanish prowess and with thanks to the Vegan Passport, that you can buy from the Vegan Society’s website, it has been so incredibly easy for us to communicate our vegan needs. Within just three days, Ross has learned enough Spanish so that he is now capable of confidently and clearly ordering a meal from a Vegetariano place with no problems. Can you tell how proud I am of him? Knowing some Spanish is definitely proving to be, not only useful, but absolutely essential in restaurants here in Peru. “vegano/vegana,” does not seem to be nearly as widely used here as “vegetariano/vegetariana.” If you’re not going to be purchasing a Vegan Passport, I highly recommend learning how to list the things you want your food to be “sin,” or “without.”
In general, I would recommend learning conversational Spanish before you come here. In part, because when you’re out and about in the city, most people only speak Spanish and it’ll be impossible to purchase anything, get directions, or ask questions without knowing a little of the native language here. In addition to that, knowing a little Spanish is also really helpful in making you feel like you’re a part of things in Peru. When I understand what’s going on around me it is such a genuinely good feeling. Even when what I understand is that someone is making a joke at my expense, I can’t help but laugh along. Not only does it make one feel really good about oneself, it’s also easy to see that the Peruvian people with whom one converses appreciate one’s effort- even if that effort is broken and silly and a little bit slow.
I think that’s enough incredibly wise, sage, life-saving advice for now. Let’s get on to everyone’s favourite thing. At the very least, my favourite thing- FOOD!
Ay, dios mio! This meal that you see before you was absolutely incredible. This is one of those meals that made me sit back, take stock of my life, and understand how amazing what I am currently doing is. I know I told you all the other day that I was getting tired of Rice and Beans, but this was different, I swear! This was beautiful, delicious, filling, tasty, fortifying. This was, after all, rice, beans, veggies, tofu, soup, plantains, and tea [Not all píctured]. And the best part? It was only 8 soles. For those folks back home in the good old U.S. of A., that’s only $2.40.
Because of how slow our internet has been for the past week, we’ve not been able to add a listing for where we got this. I think it’s important that you all know, though. In case any of you saw the price and the beauty and booked a flight to Lima for tomorrow. This comforting food came from a Hare Krishna temple, less than a block away from the hostel where Ross and I are staying right now. We got to enjoy the stunning echoing vocals of the Hare Krishnas, as they sang their beautiful mantra in the temple while we ate. It was quite an experience.
As you can tell from most of my blog posts, and from that huge paragraph, my favourite thing to talk about in these blogs is the food. However, one of my favourite things about this trip in general is getting to meet so many new vegan and vegetarian friends. Back home, I don’t have a very big community of non-carnists in my life. I know one incredibly fantastic, enthusiastic, and active vegan. (Hi, Sarrie.) Outside of them, my community is a group of supportive Omnis. Sometimes I forget that there are other people like me. This trip with Vegan Travel is showing me just how many people like me there are. Yesterday, I spent a good hour talking to a vegetarian I met in our hostel. She told me about her desire to be vegan. We talked about the things that are holding her back and how she could start to take the steps to cut back on dairy and egg. I copied down the Spanish page from my Vegan Passport for her and we practiced pronouncing “huevos” together for a while. Later that night, Ross and I shared our supper with her as she hadn’t eaten very much that day and didn’t know where to get vegan food.
I’ve had a handful of such exchanges while on this trip and every time, it’s such an uplifting experience for me. I hope that my influence and my providing resources in the form of Vegan Travel stickers, answers to questions, language guides, and egg-replacement recipes makes a difference. I have no way of knowing if my words are staying with the people that I meet or if my blogs are reaching out to people who I’m already close with and encouraging them to take the leap into veganism. I can only hope that this is the case. This hope is the force that keeps me from rolling my eyes and encourages me to answer with a smile when yet another omni sees my Vegan necklace or shirt and asks me about protein.
If you’re not vegan and you’re reading this, please ask me about protein. Perhaps more importantly, please ask me about food. I love food.
Until my next fabulous meal,