Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Hotel Story

From a hole in the ground to an 8-story 5-star hotel...for 18 months we watched the construction of a hotel from the window of the Lima Central Mission. Every Monday, when we went to the office for the Central and South Missions clinic, I took a picture. No one knows who is building the luxury hotel.

For a few weeks all the materials were on a knoll where the crane is sitting. The excavation was done in the front left corner. Then the materials were placed by crane on the back left corner while the platform to the right was being constructed. The platform then became the place for the pile of metal and sheetrock while the rock and dirt were excavated in the back left corner.

Later we learned that platform was the roof of the underground parking. You can see the retaining wall in the right corner. The people living in the house on the other side of the wall refused to move. We could understand their reluctance to give up their Colonial era home even though they lost their back yard and privacy. There are no windows on that side of the hotel as far as we could tell.

The picture does not show the second steam shovel working to excavate the last remaining pile of rock and dirt but the two steam shovels worked for two or three weeks two level what had been the ramp for the trucks carrying away the debris.

There were times when we thought this crane was going to come through the windows of the Central Mission office. And...we thought the crane operator was one brave soul to climb the ladder into the cab of the crane. It was also fascinating to watch the additions to the crane as the hotel grew.
We didn't count the number of construction workers but there must have been 100 men on the job. Security was tight--three or four security officers were on site at all times. The construction workers wore colorful hard hats and uniforms depending on their rank and tasks.

The lobby is visible on the right. The two-story parking terrace is below and will be accessed from the back of the hotel.

The floors are now all in place in this picture.

This picture shows the windows going in and the decorative front being placed on the hotel.

I like this picture because it shows some of the district of San Isidro. The original Lima South Mission home is not far from here. Also a few blocks to the right is the sacred pre-Inca huallca with the steep ramp which we toured with Margaret and Ted and Emma, Spencer, and Kate when they visited us in August.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cleaning the Angel Moroni

The Lima Temple closes in February for a deep cleaning inside and out. This is a view one doesn't often see.

The Angel Moroni is getting a complete wash down. All the spires are scrubbed as well. This is the first time we have seen the Angel Moroni getting a scrub down. POST SCRIPT: From our driver we learned Angel Moroni is getting a bano de oro, a new layer of gold leafing.

Kennedy Park, Mireflores

For 16 months we had been hearing we should go to Kennedy Park in Mireflores on a Saturday for the art show. Finally, the senior couples found a Saturday to go together not only for the art show but for a delicious pasta lunch at Glorietta's, the restaurant the Whettens found and took us to early in December.

The Mireflores Cathedral is the backdrop for the park and art show. The surrounding buildings are decidedly Colonial Spanish.

From left to right: Elders and Hnas Noall, Beals, Ghents, Seegmillers, Abeytas, and Slingerlands.

Many artists were "sticky" salespeople first and artists second. We just couldn't look at the art because they were agressivily pushing their pictures and telling us the subject matter, etc. When we hesitated, they talked of a "discuenta." We didn't buy any art but I did buy a pretty multiglass necklace.

The Abeytas sat for their portrait. They drew quite a crowd. Elder Abeyta, by the way, makes the best sopapillas and tortillas we have ever eaten.

If I had bought any artesania tipico, one of colorful, canvas-on-wood paintings would have been my choice.

This guy is typical of the street vendors we run into when we go to Inca Market, Larco Mar, or any other tourist venue. I did not buy my necklace from him.

Glorietta's is famous for their homemade Italian meat and vegetable sauces and homemade pastas. Dad and I shared a pasta sampler.

This musician was amazingly talented with his mandolin and pan pipes. We were happy to give him soles.

This is an alley of unique restaurants--Italian, Mexican style, pizzas, and cosmopolitan restaurants, not Italian food Peruano style or Mexican Peruano style, etc. The restaurants reflect the uniqueness of Mireflores and San Isidro where one hears more English and European languages in addition to the Spanish.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thin Air and ...Bullet Holes!?!

President Sloan met our plane in Quito. The day before Dad had admitted one of his missionaries with an appendicitis. He was operated on in the evening. President Sloan asked us if we'd like to visit him on the way to the mission home. Of course we did. Quito is at about 9000 ft. above sea level. We came from sea level and didn't think anything about thin air or the effects of altitude but, when we climbed the stairs to the skywalk, I became quite light headed.

This is one of the views from the mission home in a high rise apartment building. Who would ever guess such a modern, beautiful city would be the scene of a battle between the military and the police. Less than two years ago that was the case.

It really isn't a laughing matter but we hammed it up to please the Elders who took the picture. We were shocked, however, to see not just one but several bullet holes in the plexiglass of the skywalk from the parking terrace to the hospital. The police station is just behind Dad, and the police returned the fire of the military.

The walkway was quite long, maybe the length of half a city block. The section over the highway has the bullet holes as a reminder of how unsettled the government is. The day after we arrived in Quito, President and Hna. Sloan took us to Otavalo by way of a beautiful scenic highway (see the Otavalo blog). President Sloan could not enter the highway at the usual spot, so he drove through the city to another entrance only to find that entrance backed up as well. He discovered that some Otavalans, upset with the police over some issue, had blocked the highway, cutting off access to Otavalo. President Sloan told us that was not an isolated incident. After about 30 minutes, the roadblock was removed, and we were on our way.