Better Late than Never...

One of the things that we had to adjust to in Peru was the time schedule. Peruvians aren't very time conscious. If someone tells you to meet at noon they may arrive by 12:45. I once had a doctors appointment regarding some stomach aches. My appointment was at 4:00 p.m. I arrived at 3:50. The doctor spotted me and commented, "Now I know what your problem is, your worried about being on time. A Peruvian would have been here at 4:30 for the appointment!" Peruvians call their persistent tardiness "la hora Peruana."

A survey in today's local paper asked an interesting question: "Do you believe Peruvians will ever develop the habit of being punctual?" Here are the results:
  • 43% Yes-I think we can!
  • 25% Yes-perhaps someday!
  • 20% Not Likely-It's really difficult!
  • 12% NEVER!

We've just learned to relax. We've learned to ask people to arrive about 30 minutes earlier than we really expect them. We just learn to enjoy "La Hora Peruana!" Then we remind ourselves to get ready on time. We still think punctuality is important!