Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lorena and Pedro

“¿Y que les parece a Chulucanas? ¿Bonito? ¿Y la comida? ¿Han comido el ceviche?” “And what do they think of Chulucanas? Beautiful? And the food? Have they eaten ceviche?” Just as I was during my first few months here, my parents were asked the above questions every single time that they were introduced to a new person. Obviously, I had the immense pleasure of showing my parents around my temporary home here, Chulucanas, Peru. They ate in my favorite restaurants, stepped over the same holes in the road that I do every day, joined me for a three-hour computer class done completely in Spanish, and they met my Peruvian family and friends.

Despite how noisy they found it (we’re not exactly city folk), they both thoroughly enjoyed my little city. They were both delighted and horrified by the wild way that the moto taxis weave through traffic and enjoyed the tranquility and entertainment of people watching in the main plaza. Finding Peter and Laraine too difficult to even comprehend, my students renamed them Pedro and Lorena.
Mom will kill me for putting in this picture, but it was too funny not to! Here they are,passed out on my couch and armchair!

One of my favorite moments from their visit was our dinner at Pelao and Socorra’s house. The family’s nicest tablecloth was on the table and grace was said before dinner (because that means it’s a fancy dinner) and they welcomed Lorena and Pedro with open arms. Wanting to thank them for welcoming me so fully into their home, Lorena and Pedro brought gifts for each member of the family- which they loved! Rafaela particularly liked her backpack (which she put on right away) that had her name embroidered on it (thanks Aunty Rita!) and her Baloo the bear towel. One of the funnier moments of the night was when Juval, my host brother, came up to me and, pointing to my father, whispered, “He looks like Stone Cold!”

It turns out that if you have a goatee and shaved head, you look like either a wrestler or the bad guy from a movie- according to the majority of Peruvians. Although we can’t pretend that this is the first time someone has mistaken my father for a wrestler.

Running our of “tourist” things to do in Chulucanas, my parents and I decided to travel to Trujillo for the weekend. Located about six hours south of Chulucanas, Trujillo has great Spanish influence in the architecture and food as well as many indigenous ruins. The only thing that would be better than visiting this place with my parents would be if my dad could actually say the name correctly (love you daddy!).

Lucky enough to eat breakfast with him several times and to attend a mass of which he presided over, my parents had the pleasure of getting to know Bishop Dan fairly well. Charades with the Bishop’s kind chauffer, Jhonny, helped fill in the conversation surprisingly well as did Father Isaac, a local priest who speaks English extremely well (and he reads this blog too, just one more person disappointed that I don’t write enough! Hola Padre.)

Tearfully, I dropped Lorena and Pedro off at the airport with a strong hug and promises to see them again soon. Their visit was just what I needed and at the perfect time. Now, my task is to soak up my limited days left here (limited: a word which hurts me to say as much as missing my parents does!) to, as Emerson said, “suck the marrow of life.” Bone dry.

Walking through a waterfall recently during a hike in Morropon