Taste Buds of Gold

February 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Today I went to an event put on by Backus, the biggest beer distributor here in Peru. They invited the owners of small bodegas and restaurants from around Chiclayo into the city for what could only be called a beer workshop. My Mom woke me up early and asked if I wanted to accompany her to the event because she didn’t want to go alone. “FO SHO!”, I replied. First we all gathered and sat through a 20 minute presentation about beer, and how not all beers are the same; some are for special occasions, some are for hanging out with your family, some are for the beach with friends, etc. Then we moved into this other room where they had 100 cubicles set up for beer tasting, one per person. You got a little scanner sheet like the kind you use to take your SATs, you are given a giant headset used to follow the powerpoint, and you are given 5 different beers to judge on color, smell, sweetness, and bitterness. I’m not a big beer drinker, but I kicked that little scanner’s ass and was one of only three people to get all the questions right! Three out of 100!!!! I got a gold medal, and told everyone I was going to send it back to the yoonaited states so my parents could be proud of their little beer drinking daughter.

After the beer tasting, we went into another room where there was more dancing and drinking. It was so weird – it started off as this professional distributor-to-client presentation and devolved into boozing, mini-sandiwch eating, and, of course, dancing to cumbia. I had a good time, and made lots of new friends who wanted to see my shiny gold medal. My plans for the day had involved doing laundry and writing letters back home, it just goes to show that every day an unexpected adventure (or tuna sandwich) awaits just around the corner!!



February 14, 2008 at 11:21 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Here is the worm before it got cut out. See it is really small and not that big of a deal.


I’m Bringing Sixy Back

February 12, 2008 at 7:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I made the mistake of telling the artisans during our lesson on numbers during English classes; ‘make sure you say SIX and not SEX’, which was followed by lots of giggles. What can I say, I’m big on pronunciation. Sex is pretty much a cognate, it’s ‘sexo’ in Spanish. Now every time we are practicing with numbers one of them will shout out SEX when its really time for SIX and the whole class cracks up and we can’t get going again for another five minutes. It’s a group of mostly middle aged women with a few men in their 20s, so you can imagine the dynamic.

I’d be annoyed except, were it not for the fact that I’m the teacher and supposed to be leading the class, I’d probably be spearheading the SEX-SIX jokes. Plus, if I took myself that seriously as an English teacher, I’d have to flush myself down a toilet or something. Seriously – who am I trying to fool here. At least I know they will never ever forget the number six.

I can see for meters and meters and meters

February 9, 2008 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

I went to Carnaval last weekend with probably 75% of all of Peace Corps Peru up in the mountains of Cajamarca. It was ridiculous amounts of fun. Well, after I stopped taking it personally every time a little kid came at me with a bucket of paint and/or water. WHY ME YOU LITTLE BRAT?! That was the first five minutes; after cleaning the non-toxic paint out of my eyes, I looked around to realized everyone was covered with paint, all the women had at least one colorful hand-print per ass-cheek. I donned my finest pair of $4 brown stretch pants and a $1.20 winnie the pooh shirt that I have come to love and hope to get clean. Surrounded by my fifty closest gringo friends, we marched out to take over the city, but mostly ended up getting hit by all directions, stopping every once in a while to do a little ditty if a group of drummers and fluters were nearby.

Cajamarca is incredibly beautiful and I’m taking anyone who comes to visit me out there to see the sights. Except my Mom because she would, as my Dad would say, fudge her undies as your speeding bus rips around a curve and a tumbling painful death down a deep abyss is only a meter or two away (do you like that I now speak in meters?). The concept of ‘guard-rail’ is still on its way to Cajamarca; I think it got lost in the mail. I think the term ‘lush rolling hills’ was defined there. You can see for miles (or would that be KILOmeters?) and despite the aforementioned abyss, it is impossible to take your eyes away as you are traveling to and from the city. I maybe didn’t blink for a good two hours. The city itself feels much safer than the coastal towns I’ve been to. I saw a rock forest, which is a way lamer description of what it really is. What it really is, is giant rocks at the top of mountains (at nearly 4,000 meters) that were possibly formed by volcanoes, though I didn’t see any volcanoes. The living history there is more vibrant, more explicit. On the coast, you have to get way out of the city to see traditional dress and customs, but history is walking around the city of Cajamarca, selling her food or wares. The Andes take my breath away. The cheese is to. die. for. As is the yogurt and sauco jam. I don’t know the translation of sauco in English but it is like a tart and better-tasting blueberry. My favorite meal was cheese covered in jam…

gross or tasty? I’ll let you decide, when you come visit and we trek together to Caja.

Stairway to my Ankle

February 4, 2008 at 8:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I was going to rewrite the lyrics to the eternal Led Zeppelin song, but just decided to give it to you straight out. About a month ago a teeny little spot on my foot started hurting; like there was a splinter or a piece of glass stuck in it. Nothing was there so I continued on with my days, ignoring the little spurt of pain everytime that part of my foot touched a shoe or floor or whatever. About two weeks ago the painful spot grew into a large black bump and I figured it was a spider bite gone bad. True to form, I decided to ignore it and will it away everytime it made itself known. I think (sorry Pops) this is the result of growing up with a doctor parent where the frequent and  scary to the unfamiliar parent childhood ills were oft willed away. “I don´t care, you are still going to school, this is no big deal.”

Anyways, it kept getting bigger so I finally showed my mom and she told me it was a pique and that my aunt could come over that night with a needle and drain it out. I still didn´t understand what “it” was, but I wasn´t about to let anyone stick a needle in my foot. I went to see the doctor in Chiclayo and he explained that a little worm crawled his way into my foot. Actually I guess it was her way because she grew bigger and then laid eggs. The only remedy was to cut it out of my foot, so he stuck a giant needle (doctor is better than random aunt) in my foot to numb it and then yanked on the giant black bump with giant tweezers until there was a big hole in my foot and then cut the worm and her eggs and her BRAND NEW washer and dryer. They will have to find a new home, or probably will just sell the W&D and die a slow painful worm death.

It was gross and painful and now I have a hole in my foot. There is lots of other good stuff going on but I´ve been busy and this warranted mention before all the other boring stories I´ll eventually tell. I´ll get a picture up soon so you can see that the “large black bump” was really quite small and I´m probably exaggerating a bit. However, I maintain that it is gross and still a good story.

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