It’s Always Sunny in Lima, Peru

Okay, I will admit the blog’s title today is a tongue in check play on words; and no it is not a comparison with the television program “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” But I will admit this piece has a bit of snarky humor and probably is a tad persnickety (used two SAT words in one sentence, wow).

We have been in throes of the southern hemisphere’s winter since May 1, when the fog rolled in and decided to stay. Do not despair, I am told, spring is just around the corner and the fog should burn off quickly. Come to think of it, we arrived here the day after Thanksgiving and had fog and chilly weather through mid-December – that’s when the sun finally broke through and stuck around.

The sun does break through on occasion during this time of year, but though not too often. On those rare occasions that it does, you know who the real gringos are; these are the ones that run out of the chancery and annex buildings and squint at the sun. Think of Clint Eastwood with a tie and lanyard with an embassy badge.

Usually, and all of us being the highly educated and extremely well trained professionals that we are, we will mutter something eloquent on the day’s atmospheric conditions. Normally along the lines of “now look at that, (pause for theatrical effect) it’s, it’s the sun.” Followed by an, “I’m not quite sure, its been a while” and for certain followed by a couple of “Oos and Ahhs, that’s good, feels real good.” Yes, the troglodytes have broken free and are running around the field in circles photosynthesizing! Of course only during the lunch break or a fire drill.

Granted the fog that rolls in from the (South) Pacific obscuring sometimes the 400-500 meter hills behind the Embassy is a bit of a drag. But think of it this way – above 2000 feet it’s a beautiful bright sunny day in Lima without a cloud in sky. I guess it’s just a case of perspective, getting above the fog bank that is, and maintaining a positive mental attitude for eight months on end. That blasted Humboldt Current and all.

Heck, that’s it. Tomorrow we are heading for the hills – that already range 600 to 1000 meters around the corner from my place. Maybe even climb the road to Cieneguilla (at 300 meters/1000 feet elevation) and go have some cuy (guinea pig) crocante at Mesa de Piedra (kilometer 34) or if we are even more adventurous we’ll take the Jeep further up the Lurin river valley to Antioquia (kilometer 65) and at some 1,526 meters (5,007 feet) elevation – guaranteed blue skies and sunshine.  Let’s breakout the Nikon.


Um good, cuy for lunch!

Um good, cuy for lunch!

Sisicaya and the Lurin River.

Sisicaya and the Lurin River.

Chimping Explained

One of the best places to go in Washington, DC with kids, or even by yourself, is the (Smithsonian) National Zoo.  While on evacuation from US Embassy Cairo last year, I had the chance to take the little dudes to the zoo.  There we came across bronze statutes of a troop of chimpanzee apes; which explains the origin of the picture on the blog’s page header.

Now for the chimping part explained.  It is nothing more than a colloquial a term used in digital photography.  According to that source of ultimate knowledge, Wikipedia, Robert Deutsch from USA Today first used the term way back then in September 1999 when writing a story for the SportsShooter email.  That said, it is nothing more than the bad habit of checking every photo on the camera display immediately after taking the picture.

Ok, I take pictures ( a lot) and do look at these often as these come out.  And yes, I also guilty of probably making the funny face (sometimes) and of likely saying something like “Ooo-oo-oo.”  But by checking the display on my Nikon, it means that I can get confirmation that I got the shot or that I just need to do it again.  Let’s face it, we all mess up shots.

Some purist will use the term as a pejorative.  But since the technology is available, I think it would be foolish not to use it to its fullest extent!

So get out there, get the shot and check it.  If it comes out good, feel free to chimp away a   couple of “Ooo-oo-oos.”