Lima, Peru, July 26, 2003 — Our first day in Lima turned out to be a national holiday, so we didn’t do that much other than catch up on some errands and meet with travel agents about possible itineraries within the country — during the entire trip we rarely had anything planned more than a few days ahead, but Peru was one of the places where we didn’t want to miss out on the big sites like Machu Picchu, and that required some planning and organization. The day’s highlight was a dinner with a local family, who we had connected with through a group called Servas that serves to connect travelers with local families (sometimes for overnight stays, and sometimes just for meals). The patriarch of the family was a former agricultural engineer, who took great pleasure in describing all 16 varieties of Peruvian corn and the countless more varieties of potatoes. It was a weird but enjoyable evening. I took a portrait of the family, but I clearly didn’t have enough room to work with and only had an on-camera flash. So, it’s really a terrible shot. But this is a picture of the day blog, and I have no alternative photos (and Sherri tells me that it looks OK in black & white), so I’ll post it here.