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I am from Lima, Peru!

Updated on January 21, 2012

In this hub I would like to include images that once meant something to me, as I was born in Peru and spent my childhood and younger years there, but my family left the country to migrate to Australia in 1969. I have been back to Lima a few times since then, but mid eighties was the last time. I still keep my passport and I love my country, its history, food, music and traditions, so I really hope to go back there some time soon.

That was many years ago and I am now living in Europe, many miles away from my country, but if you look around HubPages you will see that many of my hubs have to do with Peru anyway, so it’s obvious that I still have it inside me! I was born in the capital Lima, so I am a Limeña, even if I have not been there for a long time! I am including two videos: one by the young Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, as he performs one of Chabuca Granda's well known compositions: La Flor de la Canela, as a tribute to her; while the other is a marinera, a typical Peruvian dance.

Lima HIgh School emblem
Lima HIgh School emblem

Lima High School

My first school was Colegio Alvarado, also known as Lima High School, which was just across the street from our home. I went there as it was the sister school to my mother’s Crandon, which is in Montevideo, Uruguay. My class used to be color Green and I was supposed to graduate in 1967, but my parents took me out of that school when I finished primary and I went to another, but lost a year in the process. Blue and Gold were the colours of that school and I can recall that it had a big auditorium, where I remember once reading a passage from the Bible, a full gym and many playground areas, where I used to play with my friends. I started going to that school when my brother Ariel was born in 1957 and left it in 1962 when I was twelve years old and my brother Will had just been born a few months before. After I left the school I lost contact with my classmates and never got to see any of them again, unfortunately.

School emblem with book for knowledge, lion for Britain and a llama for Peru
School emblem with book for knowledge, lion for Britain and a llama for Peru
Cebiche, with a piece of camote, or Peruvian sweet potato
Cebiche, with a piece of camote, or Peruvian sweet potato
Pisco sour, a Peruvian drink
Pisco sour, a Peruvian drink

San Silvestre

Was the name of the new school I went to next and the one I eventually graduated from. It was run by the British Council and it was good that we learned English, as unknown to us at the time; we would be migrating to an English speaking country in just a few years time! I still wear my gold school ring, with the school emblem in front, 68, the date of my graduation on one side and XXX, or 30th prom on the other. I have lost that ring twice, the first time I found it after many months, when I moved house and it fell from the underside of my bed, where it had been lodged. The second time I found it under my bed in our house in Austria, after missing it for weeks! One can’t see it anymore, but SG, my initials, was also written inside. You can read the following hub, where I talk about Graciella, a girl I went to school with: Godwinks!

Off to Australia!

In 1969 my family moved to Tasmania and, as it was too cold there, a year later we moved north to Brisbane, in tropical Queensland. I was able to watch on television the damage caused by the Brisbane 1974 floods while I was visiting my grandparent’s in Lima and I could not believe the damage! Two years later I left Australia, but I was unsure whether it would be for good, or whether I would return. It took us seven months to travel from Sydney to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, but once my sister and I arrived in the Caribbean we liked it so much that we stayed for many years! It was not until 1988 that I went back to Australia again and there met Gernot, the person who would become my husband. While working as librarian in the Central Bank in Santo Domingo, I was sent on many trips and coincidentally, most of them were to Lima! You can read more about me eating fish in Santo Domingo by reading this hub: Multiple Sclerosis and Ciguatera (fish poisoning)

Despite the distance between Australia and Santo Domingo, my relationship with Gernot continued and we kept meeting in half-way places, like Mexico and Canada! We then decided to get married in 1990, but before then my soon to be husband decided to have a sabbatical in South Africa, so off we went for three months! Although not married yet, the time we spent there was like a honeymoon, as we did a lot of travelling around the country and neighbouring Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

We went to Austria for the wedding and once married we returned to Australia to settle. We bought a flat there and soon our two children were born, but then it was time to move again, as my husband was offered a good position in Austria, the country of his birth! So when the smallest was only four months old, we sent all our possessions to Austria by boat and flew to Vienna.

The children soon started going to school and learning the language and were soon completely integrated in their father's country. The two now speak perfect German and English, but unfortunately they decided to learn Greek in school, instead of the Spanish I would have loved them to learn instead!

My husband gets to do a lot of travelling because of his work and he was able to go to Trujillo, Peru’s second largest city a few years ago. A Peruvian friend of mine sent me a parcel with him, but unfortunately, my husband was stopped in the Lima Airport, as some dogs sniffed his luggage! Gernot did not know my friend, so he wondered what on earth he was sending me! What if it was drugs, he wondered! But what I got were magazines in Spanish, an alpaca poncho, Coca sweets, an assortment of envelopes to prepare Peruvian dishes, plus syrups and candies, but I suspect that the dog’s problem might have been the chocolates!

Over the years we’ve had students and visitors not only from Peru, but also from Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile and every time it is very nice to meet them and be able to speak Spanish to them! Now that our children are getting older, we have started going to conferences together and I find it quite interesting, like the trip we did in January to Itaipu, for example and you can read the hub I wrote about it: Itaipu: clean and renewable energy for Brazil & Paraguay!

In the year 2008 my class celebrated the 40th anniversary of our graduation from school, but I don’t know whether they had a celebration, although I have seen the video prepared by those who graduated the year before. I could only recognize one of the girls, but it was special to watch it anyway!


I wrote this hub on April 22, but since then I have written another one entitled: Our family curse?, where I give more background about my family and myself, so perhaps you should venture to read that one too!


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    • sylvia13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      8 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      I just checked in Wikipedia and you are right! María Isabel Granda Larco was born on 3 September 1920, in a copper mining area in the region of Apurímac. One associates her with Barranco and Lima in general, but that was not so! It is only her statue that is in Barranco! Thanks for your comment and your correction!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Chabuca was not born in Lima. She is not Limeña.

    • sylvia13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      8 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      Thanks for leaving your comment and I am glad to meet another Peruvian here! Even though I have not been to Peru for 25 years, I take great pride in writing hubs about our country! I just love Peruvian handicrafts as many years ago my parents used to have a shop in Brisbane, Australia called Inka Shop. One time my father also brought a life size stuffed llama from Lima and it was a great success! I now live in Austria and the funny thing is that the Austrian and Peruvian flags are very similar, except that the Austrian one is red, white, red horizontal, while ours is red, white, red vertical!

    • sylvia13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      8 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      I feel a strong sense of identity with Peru, but believe it or not, I also feel a strong sense of belonging to Santo Domingo, where I lived for 12 years and to Australia, where I lived for another 12! Believe it or not, I have 3 passports (Peru, Australia and Austria), but unfortunately I never bothered getting the Dominican one, which I now regret! I guess I can be called a citizen of the world and not of any particular country!

    • itakins profile image


      8 years ago from Irl

      Lovely hub Sylvia-with all the travelling you have done and living in foreign lands,it's nice that you can feel a strong sense of identity with Peru,even though you left quite young.What an interesting life:)

    • kaja_mel profile image


      8 years ago from Saraland, AL

      Great hub sylvia13. I've never been much of a traveler myself, but I enjoy reading and learning about foreign lands. Thanks for the read.


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