Thursday, March 28, 2013

Enough Sunscreen to Cover a Sumo Wrestler

¡Buenos días! My mother can attest to the fact that I had a very busy weekend last weekend- I gushed to her all about it, forcing her to listen. Let's break it down day by day!

Dinner was a hamburger supper. This included a very thin- but very good- patty topped with cucumber, lettuce, tomato, fatty bacon, aji sauce, ketchup, mustard and thin potato chip slivers. A nice Peruvian twist on an American meal. After dinner we made our way to El Frances, one of the discotecas in Chulucanas, but we weren't going there to dance. That week Chantelle met a doctor at the hospital (through her work) who is good friends with the owner of the club and they both invited us to come watch a soccer game. It was Chile vs. Peru, a rivalry as heated as Red Sox vs. Yankees.  A very exciting game, neither team had scored until the last four minutes of the game when Peru scored the first and only goal. We all jumped to our feet, cheering and hugging one another. To celebrate, they turned the music on and we all had out own private little dance party. During all of this we just kept looking at each other and saying, we live the strangest lives here!

We spent the day shopping in the market and preparing a delicious salad with our new friend Fabiana. She's one of those people who just came up to us an said, "I was friends with last year's volunteers so we'll be friends too!" As you can imagine, this makes the whole making friends thing a WHOLE lot easier! Our salad was a mix of lettuce (something that made us all really nervous, but thank goodness we didn't get sick!), apples, raisins, crumbled cheese, scallions, cucumbers, and a dressing made out of strawberry jelly and balsamic vinagerette. It was fun hanging out with her and the food was delicious, but by the time we finished the meal we were all exhausted and another Peruvian "custom" was affirmed. They often don't get the hint when they have overstayed their welcome! I've seen this a number of times here and no longer think that this is just a personality trait. Rather, it is a desire to keep the party or fun going even when everyone is practically asleep or the conversation has been exhausted.

That night we were invited to go to La Amistad (a discoteca) with my friend Sthefanie. Before going into the discoteca, we did the customary laps around the plaza. Everyone and their mother, her mother, and her mother's best friend is there... doing laps. As we've been here for a significant amount of time now and know a lot of people, it was fun to stop every few seconds to stay hello to a different friend. After we had done enough laps and chewed on some delicious churros, we decided it was time to go into the discoteca. Sthefanie is a fabulous dancer and I had an absolute blast dancing with her all night! Our friends Italo, his cousin Diego, and our other friend Tín also met us there.

Sthefanie and I

After an early morning Palm Sunday mass with a church packed more tightly than I have ever seen, Fabiana met us at our house with two other friends (Marcos and Cristian) and a moto. After lathering up wtih enough sunscreen to cover a sumo wrestler, we hopped on the moto to begin the hour long drive to Pueblo Nuevo, a small town outside of Chulucanas.

Faba and Britt on the back of the moto.
 Starting there, we hiked almost and hour and a half through farmlands and jungle to el carrizal.

Chantelle, me, Britt, Faba, Marcos

 Essentially a swimming hole, the water at el Carrizal is fed directly from the surrounding mountains and is delightfully chilly. We found one swimming hole with a big rock along side it that you could jump off of into the water. Of course, Britt and I were right there! Chantelle took a little more coaxing but she eventually jumped in too. The rest of the time was spent trying to convice Fabiana to jump in too but we were unsuccessful.

The leap.

The splash.

I gave my students an exam yesterday which they were not pleased about. To try and win them back a bit, I gave them candy at the end of the class. I was shocked when one of my students  yelled, "Miss!!! You only gave me 2 pieces!!! Give me another one!!!" Except picture that being said in the most annoying, whiniest voice possible. I asked her if she was indeed a child or an adult. I love my students and I feel like I'm really starting to get to know them, but man can they whine.

I've been meaning to write this for a while: Britt cut my hair last week! As Chantelle watched horrified, Britt took scissors to my bangs and trimmed them, and she did a great job.

Much love, peace, and thin potato chip slivers!

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