Saturday, June 18, 2011

Not my typical Saturday.

Today I had one of those days where you think, "I'm not in Montana anymore". It started with my usual waking routine around 6:00 to the sounds of dogs and roosters. Then I went upstairs to do my laundry. It took me about an hour to hand wash: 2 pairs of jeans, 2 polo shirts, 3 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of underwear, and a pair of shorts. I'm not sure if it was the novelty of it, the sunrise, or the fact that my host mom kept a close eye on me (and made me re-wash my jeans), but I kinda enjoyed it.

Yanacoto 7:00am 6/18/2011

After breakfast, I met up with some other volunteers in training for a hike up the mountain to see some Inca hyroglifics. There were four Peace Corps people, Amanda, Jeff, Adrian, and myself; along with a guy from the barrio (neighborhood) that agreed to show us where they were (Ranaldo). It was a quick hike up and back, but it was pretty steep the whole way, with no shade. However, it was totally worth it to look down and see the giant drawings. Although the pictures don't do it justice:

After the hike down and a huge lunch of rice, potatoes, chicken, chicken soup with rice and potatoes, and bread (they like their carbs), I went with my host mom to meet her sister and stepmother (here biological mother died when she was 3). It was cool beacuse the stepmother (my host step-grandma) was 83 years old and spoke mostly in Quechua (the native language). They would switch back in forth between Spanish and Quechua, while  I sat there trying to figure out the Spanish portion. As a side note, we stopped by a corner store and a bar before going in so we could give the grandma a gift. The gift contained juice, cookies, and a bag of coca leafs (something PC volunteers are forbiden from trying).  My host aunt was very welcoming and gave me a plate of rice and chicken. During our conversation, she explained how and why, Peruvians are so nice and welcoming, unlike the Argentinians. Basically, it boiled down to the culture of family and the fact that Peruvians have roots in Spain, while the Argentinians have German and French roots. Who knows if that is true, but I do know for a fact that Pervians have been very kind to me and the other volunteers.

After a couple of hours, we returened home and my host mom asked if I'll go to the market with her tomorrow morning to buy the ingredients for Pachamanga, a particular dish that I've been hinting around since I got here. It's a food typcial of the region, and that many people of Lima come out to have. I don't really understand it, but from what they tell me, it's some sort of underground barbeque. They bury meat, potatoes, vegetables, and hot rocks, and then it comes out cooked and super rica (tasty). Vamos a ver (We'll see) how it turns out.