Ay, it’s been way too long since I’ve written. I’ve actually been meaning to write and get on line for over a week, but it really just hasn’t been possible. Not because there’s a lack of access points…the Internet café is a three-minute walk from my house. However, since I’m using an internet café, it’s not worth it to just pop in for 10 minutes to check my e-mail since I’ve been offline for over a week. I’d need at least an hour to get caught up, plus I have a list of things I need to research, look at and so on. So using the Internet is close to a two-hour block of time, but I really only have a few hours of actual ‘free time’ each day. I want to spend time with the family, and since I get home around 630 every night, I’d be a ghost for the whole day.
So if you were taking bets on how long it would take me to get injured in Peru, the winning bet would have been 2.5 weeks. I was playing soccer, and given my grace I was running full steam, couldn’t stop, and ran straight into a concrete wall. This left me with a small little gash above my left eye. And since Jason wasn’t even remotely involved, no stitches were required.
For the most part, the days have been much of the same; language class in the morning and various sessions in the afternoon. The afternoon sessions have actually been a bit boring for me, largely because it’s covering topics which I studied at school (various actors in development, the importance of women in development, HIV/AIDS in development to name a few). The tech training sessions have been interesting, but too short and few and far between.
Every Saturday we have tech sessions where two of the programs go to a university in Lima, while my program stays at the center to do our training. This past week we’ve made shmusdecke filters and got within reach of finishing our giant worm composting bin. It’s been taking a while since it’s pretty wide/long/deep and we could only make the base last weekend. This week we started to put up the walls and the dividers, which was a slow process as it’s being made with brick and mortar. A few of us stayed to work overtime, so I wound up getting back home around 3:30 covered in filth. All week the family had been talking about a fiesta in the neighborhood, but wouldn’t mention anything specific including time. My fear was we’d be headed out the door soon after I left, when I needed to bathe and take a siesta. Luckily, they weren’t planning on going to the fiesta until midnight (!!!), so I had plenty of time to get myself ready.
In fact, I wound up going to another neighborhood with a few friends to their fiesta beforehand but this just turned out to be something like an elementary school talent show (which was amusing in it’s own right). However, there was an over-abundance of Michael Jackson dance routines for my liking. Some of the other trainees organized to play two songs Credence Clear Water songs (seriously) on guitar and sing for the show, and I joined them to perform in front a crowd of Peruvians who maybe had heard the Tina Turner version of Proud Mary. So after this died down, we headed back to Yanacoto for the fiesta, which was just getting underway at midnight.
Festivities included three live bands, plenty of dancing, and a rather large amount of fire works. The fire works were something special because the safety precautions we take with them in the USA were not even heard of. They had a guy running around inside of a paper-mache bull chasing people, and on top of the ‘bull’ was a small four foot tower with carefully placed and orchestrated fireworks. There was also a twenty-foot tower of the same orchestrated fireworks standing right next to power lines and in front of homes and such.
The other trainees started leaving around 2ish, and after the last person left my family showed up!!! We stuck around and danced for about two more hours, and all the family friends had a fun time dancing with the tall and goofy looking gringo. I woke up around eight am this morning to a living room full of extended family, to which I promptly excused myself and went back to bed for a few more hours. Woke up again, prettied myself up (had no idea that there was a family lunch today!) and lunched and hung out with the extended family for a while. Somehow I feel I’m in for an early bed time (I’m writing this at 8pm and considering bed time around 9).