Today, let’s discover Bakersfiel with Elizabeth, from Peru. Meet with this lovely family who moved to Bakersfield in 2017, and who was kind enough to launch this new Keskidees section.
Born and raised in Peru, Elizabeth did her MA in Education at Stanford University. She then moved to Houston, Texas, to teach Spanish and French, before her husband was relocated in Bakersfield. She continues enriching her kids’ minds (3, 5, 7 years old) with plenty of activities performed in many languages. For now and for Keskidees, she shares her fresh look on the city.
Elizabeth, when did you arrive in Bakersfield, and what brought you there?
I moved to Bakersfield from Houston in June 2017 when my husband was relocated, and we will enjoy the city until he is transferred to a new position, in three to seven years.
Your first impressions on the city ?
At the beginning, I compared Bakersfield with the Bay Area and with Houston, where we lived before. I think every place is different and will have its good and… not so good. I have learned to take advantage of all the positive aspects of Bakersfield this first year.
And now that you’re more acquainted?
I really like Bakersfield now. Besides the pollution, my family enjoys many different activities: ice skating, basketball, Chinese School, gymnastics, indoor soccer, dance studios, roller skating, great bike trails, fun swimming lessons and pools, and road trips we can make to beautiful beaches, National Parks and big cities.
A favorite place, activity, something new you’ve experienced in Bakersfield?
I have several. Ice skating is one of our favorites activities. The Bakersfield Ice Sports Center has lessons for all ages. My children are really good now and my three year old can ice skate with dad and mom. It’s a very nice environment and a great place for family time. We also enjoy attending the Chinese Bakersfield School. I attend classes there with my two older boys. The school not only offers classes but also Chinese cultural activities that are open to the community. Last year my boys took swimming lessons at CSUB Learn-to-swim. We used to admire young swimmers diving. So this past summer, I enrolled my older son for diving lessons at McMurtrey Aquatic Center.
What would you miss from Bakersfield that might lack somewhere else?
I would miss my short regular drivings. All our after school activities, doctors, work office are very close to us. I would also miss the bike trail near our house. My little one can now bike on her own so this year has been extra special because we can go on a family bike ride. I would also miss our new friends that make our days brighter in Bakersfield.
What do you miss from “home” and how do you keep your traditions and souvenirs lively while being here?
My home is Peru. I miss my parents, siblings and the family gatherings that I get to enjoy only when I go back to Peru. Our children are Peruvian-American and it is very important for us to cultivate their Peruvian as well as American identity. We work hard on making them acquainted with Peru. We teach Spanish at home: speaking, reading, writing. We also teach them about our culture that includes literature (we read traditional books), festivities (we organize traditional celebrations), food (we cook traditional dishes), music (we sing and play traditional songs), history & geography (we make trips to Peru), soccer (we play and watch the games… soccer is a big thing in Peru!).
Do you have a particular Peruvian tradition or recipe that you could share with Bakersfield?
Even though Peruvian food is delicious it has a lot of spices that I try to avoid or replace. I keep Peruvian traditional dishes very mild at home but I think they turn out well, at least to me. I want to share a very simple smoothie recipe with lucuma, a super nutritious Peruvian fruit. Blend 3 bananas, 4 cups almond milk, 8 tbs of lucuma powder (I use Navitas organics), 4 dates, cinamon (optional). Enjoy!
Elizabeth’s lucuma smothie:
* 3 bananas
* 4 cups almond milk
* 8 tbs of lucuma powder (I use Navitas organics, which you can get from Sprouts or on the web)
* 4 dates, cinamon (optional)
Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to answer these questions and sharing your favorite Bakersfield places and Peruvian delicacies!