Sunday, November 27, 2011

That Christmas Feel

I'm not the biggest mall fan in the world, and so I find my current location extremely depressing. I'm sitting in a Starbucks at a mall in Trujillo (8 hours to the west of Caraz, on the coast), using their wifi, and waiting for a 1:00pm bus to Lambayeque (all of Peru 17 youth Volunteers are going there for our Early In Service Training). To compound the depressing factors, there is a giant plastic Christmas tree outside and pop versions of Christmas carols in English blaring on the speakers. Just to share the joy, here's a video (P.S. Jeff is being a Debi Downer right now because of a little stomach issue):

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baby Steps

My little host-brother, Yordan, is on the fast track to going places. He has graduated from being a quick knee scooter to a clumsy walker. Soon he and Yefferson will being racing around the house with the greatest of ease. Here a video documenting his first big steps with the encouragement of his father.

Pachacamac Roofing Inc.

The rain has to be the key dictating factor in a roofer's life. Your work is paced by incoming weather, and the final product is tested by a good down pour. At least that's what I observed in Montana, and it doesn't appear to be much different here in Peru. With the rainy season upon us, Roger was out doing some last minute patch work on our roof above the kitchen.

I've had the pleasure of working for two different father-son type roofing outfits. Here's a video of the latest.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Meeting the Basic Requirements

In addition to being a US citizen, above the age of 18, and having a college degree (or significant work experience), I have been truly slacking on meeting the last basic requirement for Peace Corps service, I didn't have a hammock. However, I can now proudly report that this minor flaw has been remedied. Due to Jeff, a volunteer living 2 hours away (my site mate), needing a place to crash when he passes through my site, I purchased a hammock. Now Jeff doesn't need to borrow my host father's mattress and sleep on the floor with the spiders, he can dangle in style.   

It's hung from the logs/sticks supporting my roof. I was trying to think of a different method (i.e. building a frame from wood or metal) but it was too costly, and Roger is confident that the roof beams can hold the weight; however, he added that if they bend or we hear any cracking noises, we should move quickly. That's the kind of confidence that insures a good night's sleep. I didn't tell Jeff this (hopefully he doesn't read my blog... but shout out to Jeff if does, you'll be a great test pilot).

Here's the Y-man testing it out (Don't worry I tested it before he got on... while wearing my bike helmet).

CAT/griz Satellite Party - Peru

For the 111th "Brawl of the Wild" (Montana State University vs University of Montana), I find myself further away from the action then I've ever been before. But have no fear, I've started my own Cat-Griz Satellite Party here in Ancash, Peru. Thanks to the live stream (which is pretty choppy), the Bozeman Chronicle's Live Blog, and the California Cafe (the internet cafe here in the capital city), I can still feel the excitement. Unfortunately, as I write this, the Cats are down 22-7 in the middle of the 3rd. Gotta love them Cats.

If any of you are in the neighborhood and want to watch the hometown boys duke it out, stop in and pull up a couch. I'm the sure the kids playing Wii next to me won't mind.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How about we make it a Biblioteca?

Roger and his father (who came down from the alturas/highlands for a couple of days) have begun to construct an new addition to the house: a room for the gringo. I´m really happy where I´m at, I have a huge room, privacy, and a window that lets in the morning sun, so really can´t ask for more; nor do I want anything different. So I´ve started pitching the idea of a biblioteca (library) for Yeferson and I to read in. At first this idea took off like a lead balloon; however, after explaining how it would be advantageous for Yefer to have quiet and consistant place to study, my host-parents are starting to show a little more buy-in on the plan.

...Also a month back I got sick of my bed rocking like I was a riding a bucking bronco everytime I moved, so one night I nailed it to the adobe wall (using a brick and some nails I had in my room). Nine nails and a less than mint-condition head board later, my bed doesn´t move, but´s it going to be a real pain to take down.

Here´s a video of the construction crew working on the new library that may soon outshine the Library of Congress:


Have you ever seen a spider big enough to require a large caliber rifle to hunt, and a packboard or a few mules, if you were so lucky to steady your nerves and get a off a clean shot before it attacked?* Not counting the one in the Harry Potter movies, me neither, but the spider in the following video was pretty big. Easily, the biggest spider I´ve seen (and Roger says that this was a small one!?).

In rewatching this video, I feel bad for my host-grandfather who was in his wheelchair watching the gringo film the spider as it stalked towards him. Oops. I don´t know Quechua yet, but I´m pretty sure he´s saying to my host mom ¨What´s he doing?¨ (or something to that effect). Hopefully he doesn´t hold a grudge and slip a spider in my bed as a pay-back.

* The heavy hunting reference is a shout out to Adam, THE big brother, who is surely honing his advanced military/pioneering  hunting tecniques in the Seeley-Swan Valley as we speak. Those of you who haven´t had the pleasure to observe or see pictures of this art form, think: cross country skis with special wax, hot chocolate, knit sweaters, ironic facial hair, and a notebok to meticulously record windage, trajectory and other ballistics. Good luck out there, be safe.