Peru Day 1: The Columban House

Arrived in Lima at 6.30am local time and was met by a smiling Fr Ed O’Connell who then drove me to the Columban House in the North of Lima.  The drive reminded me both of Nairobi and the traffic around Hyde Park Corner – those in front have right of way! Our road varied from smooth tarmac to rough earth and back again as we moved through the different districts of the city. 

The Columban House is a beautiful oasis.  The garden is adorned by vibrant tropical flowers, yet you know that space is a premium as the compound is hemmed in on all sides.  

The school next door is built into the side of the Andean foothills that rise up steeply from the plain and the school garden is terraced into the steep slopes.

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54 thoughts on “Peru Day 1: The Columban House

    • Hi Oliver and Bradley,

      The food is delicious with lots of new flavours. I particularly like the hot chilli sauces that are offered with everything. My next blog will talk about food, so thanks for your question.


    • Hi again Sokol and Wycliffe,

      The weather seems to be always cloudy, but today we had some hot sunshine, unusual for the time of year. But there is no rain and everyone would love to see it rain, it’s so dusty!


  1. What is the weather like?,have you been up the andes?,do you like it there?,have you made any new friends?we have read your day 1

    • Hi Bradley and Oliver,
      I’ve not been up into the Andes yet and I won’t go to the very top. They are so high. However, I will go to Cusco and Macho Pico in 12 days time and am looking foward to it. I have made a lot of friends even though I don’t speak Spanish very well and few people speak English. Bur everyone is very friendly. I hope you can keep following my blog.


    • Hi again Bradley and Oliver,

      I am indeed having a good time. I hope you can see the photos on the blog. I will keep putting up new ones each day.


  2. Whats the weather like?
    Have you tried any new food?
    Have you made any friends?
    Have you been to the Andes

    From Tiernan and Leeroy

    • Hi Tiernan and Leroy,

      The weather is warm and cloudy, but there is no rain.
      I’ve tried lots of new food and will put some pictures on the Blog
      I’ve also made lots of new friends, but I have not been up to the Andes yet. I go there in 12 days time.


  3. What language do they speak? Have you been up the Andes? What animals are there? What food do they eat? What is it like at the school? What drinks do they have? Can you write in Peru? If you can can you send some Peru writing to us?

    • Hi Rebecca and Jack,

      Everyone here speaks Spanish and some people also speak Quetcha – the language for the Andean people. There are lots of other local languages and in the jungle on the other side of the Andes there are lots of different languages spoken in quite a small area.
      I’ve not been to the Andes yet, but they are verry high and you can see them wherever you are.
      The only animals I have seen in the city are dogs and donkeys. There are lots of dogs and people have no garden to let them run around in so they let them run around in the streets. When I go into the mountains I hope I will see some Llamas.
      The Peruvians along the coast eat lots of fish, but as you go up to the mountains they eat more beef, chicken and lamb as well as lots of rice, potatoes and onions.
      The schools are very like the schools in England except that many of the students pay to go to school.
      Today I had a drink of Lemonade, made from real lemons. It was delicious. There are lots of fruit drinks and some of these are served hot as well as cold.
      I cannot write in Spanish, but in my blog I will send you a link to a video with the people speaking in Peruvian Spanish.
      Thanks for your questions,


    • Hi again,
      I am having fun here.
      The Andes are very high. On average they are about 12,000 feet above sea level, higher than any mountain in England. The highest point is Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, which is 6962 meters (22841 ft) above sea level.

  4. Hi, have u seen any interesting animals? How big are the Andes? I heard they are mazzive. Have u tried any new food? If u have,can u bring a recipe for us to eat. What languge do they speak?Are they religous or not?

    • Hi Grace and Ella,

      There are lots of dogs on the streets in the town, but I would not say that they were interesting. When I go to the mountains in 12 days time I expect I shall see some interesting animals then.
      The Andes are massive, you are right. On average they are about 12,000 feet above sea level, higher than any mountain in England. The highest point is Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, which is 6962 meters (22841 ft) above sea level. I’ve tried lots of new food and hope to post some pictures in my next Blog. I will look for a simple recipe for you.
      Everyone here speaks Spanish, but also some local languages. They are nearly all Catholics and most people go to church. Some of the people I have met really know what it means to be a catholic and I would say that they are very religious. They pray together and discuss what the bibl;e stories mean to them and how they should behave in their own lives.
      Thanks for this question, I will try to answerf it in the blog.

  5. Hi,

    We are learning about Peru at the moment and we want to ask you questions about Peru. We have just read your blog and we think that it is really good and we want to know if you are haveing a great time.

    How are you doing? Are you having a great time? Have you made new friends? Have you tasted any Peruvian food? Have you worn any of the peruvian clothes? Is it very hot in Peru? What are the people in Peru like?

    • Hi Annie and Elizabeth,

      I’m doing great, the people here are so friendly and welcoming, so I’ve made a lot of new friends even though I do not speak very good Spanish, so it is difficult to have a conversation. The food is delicious and I will put some photos on my blog and tell you about it. Most Peruvians I have met wear the same sort of clothes as we do in England, but the weather is quite warm here, and the people think it is quite cold, so I guess it will get much warmer!

  6. Have you made any friends?.Have you tried any different food ?.Have you seen any animals?.Have you meat any people?.Have you lernt their langue?.

    • Hi Adam and Nikitha,

      I’ve made lots of new friends and am getting better at speaking Spanish, but I don’t speak it well! I am meeting lost of people and see lots of dogs!!

  7. Hi Mr Sudlow how is the food like in Peru,? have you made new friends there,?what is the weather like?Have you been up the Andeas?Do you like it there?
    what are your best friends names?

    • Hi Christine and Fabiola,
      The food is delicious, I’ll put some pictures on the Blog,
      The weather is just right, not too warm and with lots of clouds in the sky to keep me from getting burned by the sun. It is very nice here, but I have not been to the Andes yet.


  8. Hello
    Are you having a nice time?
    Is it hot or cold?
    Have you meet any new freinds?
    We are leaning about Peru now and we want to ask you a qwestions.

    From William and Frank

    • Hi William and Frank,
      I’m having a great time. It’s warm, but not too hot, about the same as in England during the summer, but it is winter here! I’ve made lots of friends and you will meet some of them on my blog.

  9. What do the Peruvians eat? Are you enjoying the weather? What games do you play? What language do you speak? What is the climate like? W hat type of animals do you like in Peru? Have you met any friends? What is it like in Peru? How are you doing in Peru?

    • Hi,

      Peruvians eat lots of fish here near the coast. Further inland they eat more meat. They like soups and add onions for flavour as well as hot peppers.
      The people speak Spanish and some local languages and have been very kind to me because I do not speak very good Spanish.

  10. What building is the biggest?
    Did you met any new friends?
    did you try any new food? and did you learn any new language?

    • Hi,
      The biggest buildings are the banks and government buildings in the city centre, but here in the suburbs the highest houses are about 4 floors high.
      I’ve made lots of friends but I am only slowly picking up the language, which is Spanish. I am trying lits of different foods and will show some on my Blog.

  11. Wich languge they speak?How the food taste?Do they have toys or electricity? Do they have houses,is it hot or cold?

    • Hi,
      The people here speak Spanish and their food is delicious, see the blog on food.
      There are lots of toys, many the same as you find in England but also some toys they have made themselves. You can see the houses on the blog, but ask Sarah for more information about houses.

  12. Mr Sudlow
    How are you after you flight over there, do you suffer jet lag?
    What langue do they speak?
    What sort of food do they eat?
    Is it hot or cold?
    Are you having a nice time?
    Have you met any friends yet?
    Take care of your self,
    Alysia and Liam

    • Hi,

      It took 14 hours to get here by plane so I was quite tired when I arrived, but I’m OK now. I was pretty quick getting over the jet lag because I stayed up until everyone else went to bed, but yesterday I slept until mid-day, I was so tired!
      The people here speak Spanish and local languages, the food is delicious and the weather is warm like summer in England, but here it is winter. It is much warmer in December.

  13. Dear Mr Sudlow,
    How hot is it in Peru? Where are you sleeping? What do the houses look like in Peru? How are you finding it in Peru? In England it is scorching hot. Are you having a fantastic time? In school, we have looked at where Peru is on a map. Have you met any friends in Peru? Which transport did you take?

    Take care,
    From Joseph and Cathy.

    • Hi,
      At the moment it’s just 24 degrees Celcius. I’m sleeping in the parish priest’s house which is like many others here. Very simple. On the ground floor is a living room, kitchen and garage. Upstairs there are three bedrooms and a bathroom and a small prayer room.
      This house is just one floor high, but some houses would add another one or two floors depending on the size of their family. Ask Sarah about houses.
      I have taken lots of pictures of the transport and will post them on the blog soon,

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thank you for your questions. The weather is cloudy and dry, very strange.
      People in Peru are both very rich and very poor. I am living in the north of Lima and the people here struggle to make a living. Most of them have been able to buy a small plot of land on which to build a house, but it seems that none of the houses are complete. You start by building and living on the ground floor, then as you get more money you build the second floor so that your children might have a room of their own and you no longer have to sleep in the living room. Then you might build a third floor as your family grows so that the children need more space, or so that you can make a space for your brother’s family!
      But last night I went into the centre of Lima and I could have been in the middle of Milton Keynes except the roads were wider and the buildings taller, but otherwise it was the same, lots of posh shops, restaurants, cinema. It’s wierd, that in the same city you can have veru rich people living side by side with the very poor. But then 100 years ago in the east end of London you would have found very poor people living only a short distance from the very rich in the City of London, and to some extent it is still the case.
      However, in Peru the gap is even bigger because there is no social security. If you get sick you have to rely on your family or church to help. If you have no work you must go and find some, even if that means selling flowers or sweets or cigarettes on the street or to the cars as they stop at the traffic lights.
      Hope you like the blog and can follow what I’m doing,

      Oh yes, and most of the people are Catholic, rich and poor, they are all catholic.

  14. Hello Mr Sodlow

    What kind of food is in Peru?
    Are you having a good time?
    Have you climbed any mountins?
    What have you done in Peru all ready?

    from,Shore and Miranda

    • Hi Shore and Miranda,

      Thanks for your questions.
      The food is very simple, lots of different and very tasty soups. Lots of stews ofetn made with chicken and lots of cake!! When ever there is a celebration, you have to have cake!
      I’m having a great time, learning something new every day, but I’ve not climbed any mountains even though they are very close. However, tomorrow I should go into the foothills, the smaller hills which are right next to Lima and then in two weeks I go into the very high mountains to a town called Cusco.
      You can see the rest of my stories on the blog, so i hope you are able to follow what I’ve been doing,


  15. Hello Mr. Sudlow, are you having a nice time in Peru? What is the weather like in Peru? What language do they speak? Is Fr Ed your friend?

    What are the people like? What is the food like in Peru? What is the school like?

    • Hi Andreas and Nathasha,
      I’m having an amazing time here. The weather is strange, it is always cloudy and at times you feel sure it is going to pour with rain, but it doesn’t. It is so dry that there is dust everywhere. Ask Giovanni and Matthew for more on that. The people here all speak Spanish but many also speak Quetcha which is the native Peruvian language spoken by the people of the High Andes. It is very difficult for a European to learn it.
      Fr Ed is my friend and he has welcomed me into his parish here, which has 12 churches.
      The people are very firendly and welcomed me immediately. They are very pattient as I struggle to find the words in Spanish to say what I want to say. The food is delicious and full of flavour. Ask Simon and Haiden for more.There is a picture of a corn broth soup on the story: Peru – Month’s Mind
      The school is very big with a lot of students who all have to pay to go there. Lots of people in Peru pay to go to school, though there are some schools provided by the government which do not charge. There are no SATS or GCSEs so it is difficult to tell which schools are best and there are even private Universities!

      Hope you keep up with the stories on the blog, thanks for your questions,


  16. Hello Mr Sudlow.
    How are you ? Do you like it in Peru? Have you met anyone nice? Does Peru have any churchs? If so where abouts are they? What kind of food do they have and do you like it?

    We hope you are having a good time, from Jade and Sian.

    • Hi Jade and Sian,
      I’m fine and really like Peru. The people are amazing.
      There are lts of churches, in fact every community wants to build their own church, so you are never far from a church. In the parish I am staying in there are twelve churches and just three priests. I went to visit another new parish yesterday where there are already 22 churches and just two priests, but the parish is growing all the time as more and more people move into Lima for work. They cut out a space in the side of the hills and build their house. Then, as soon as there are enough people to make a community, they agtee on where the common spaces should be and will find a place for the church next to the common space. The space might become a park eventually, but it all takes time.
      The food is very interesting, I hope you like the Blog I have written about it. I keep adding pictures all the time showing the different dishes I have eaten.
      Hope you like the Blog,

  17. Hello Mr Sudlow,
    Are you having a good time? How is the waether in Peru?
    I heared that you saw a school in Peru.What are you doing at the moment?How did you feel when you went on the smooth tarmac and the rough tarmac?What transport did you use to to get to Peru?when did you start travelling there?We would like to write to you again

    • Hi Giovanni and Matthew,
      I’m having an amazing time here. The weather is strange, it is always cloudy and at times you feel sure it is going to pour with rain, but it doesn’t. It is so dry that there is dust everywhere. You have to dust down your seat before you sit down and even need to brush the outside of your house to clear the dust. In England we can be sure that the rain will clear the dust from our house quite regularly, but not here. Wherever you go you see people sprrinkling water and brushing the dust away.
      Hope you keep up with the stories on the blog,


  18. We think your blog is really good and we would like to learn more.What’s the food like?Is it hot?What is your favourite food from them? What language do they speak?

    From Simon and Haiden

    • Hi Simon and Halden,

      I’m glad you enjoy the blog. The best and very popular foods are the soups. Made from boling meat on the bone to get a good stock and then adding noodles or corn. There is a picture of a corn broth in the blog: Peru-month’s mind. When the corn is added it swels up like popcorn, but without poping! You then add choppied onion and, if you like, some hot pepper suace. I added a teaspoonful to my soup and it was plenty!

  19. hi this is Melanie and Joshua.Are you having a good time?What type of food do you like there?Is the weather nice and sunny?Is the food different from our’s

    • I’m having a great time, thanks.
      The food is very different and quite tasty. I like the different soups a lot, especially the spicy soups.
      The weather is cool and cloudy. Many of the people in Lima are complaining that it is cold, but I am still wearing a T-shirt and am plenty warm enough. Next week I leave Lima and go into the mountians where I expect it will be hot in the day and very cold at night, because it is winter now in Peru

  20. Hi Frank,

    We are so looking forward for you coming back a you telling us all about your amazing expirience. I never knew the people in Peru wore the same kind of clothes in UK and Ireland .

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