The Monastery de San Francisco in Lima, Peru

Outside the Monastery de San Francisco in downtown Lima is a child’s paradise and a valley girl’s nightmare.

Hundreds of pigeons flock to this area and hope to be fed by those who come by. The tall, beautiful structure of the monastery is perfect for the birds to rest atop, while the open plaza in front leaves room for them to gather and fight for food. Locals stand outside with bags of bird feed for sale, and from what I could tell, most of the families with small children bought the bait.

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I sat on the steps and watched the kids chase the pigeons while making it rain with bird feed, all while the women in the plaza covered their heads and held their breath as the pigeons flew overhead. Just imagine 100 pigeons flying in circles all at once above you. I’m actually quite surprised that no one in our group got pooped on.

One of the girls kept saying it was good luck, but in my opinion there is no bright side to such an unfortunate situation (especially this one).

Nevertheless, it was nice to watch all of the kids play. I miss feeling like the world was so small and being so easily entertained. There is still a child in me who’s imagination runs wild and thinks the possibilities in this life is endless though, and I don’t think that will ever fade away.

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