Wednesday, June 22, 2011


So let me finish off that last post (see Not My Typical Saturday) with saying that it really set in when I found myself sitting around the kitchen table with my host brother Fran and his buddy Danny, drinking beer and listening to country music (thanks to KYSS FM from Missoula having a good website). Never in my life did I imagine that I'd be enjoying a cold one with two Peruvians while trying to translate songs like "A Contry Boy Will Survive". Needless to say that song didn't come out very well, and I had to precident it with it's bien country (it's SUPER country).

Anyway, down to the Pachamanga. The day started out with my host mom and I going to the market to buy all of the ingredients. This in itself could be a whole post, but I'll boil it down to the highlights.  My host mom and I left for the market in Chosica (the bigger town near by) at 7:00. She use to work there when she was younger (24) and so I met all of her old market friends. I've always enjoyed markets for the variety of colors and smells (some good and some bad), but I always just wondered through with out a purpose. Gregoria on the other hand had a plan. By 9:00  we (she) had managed to say 'hi' to everyone, eat a "pan cake" breakfast (which is actually closer to fry bread), bargin to the lowest possible price on every item, and buy a weeks worth of food for a full family (and one gringo). Gregoia did 99% of the work, but I had to carry the 2 huge bags fruits, veggies, and raw meat (each bag weighing near 40lbs) through the market and up to the bus stop.

When we got home the family was up and excited for the process of making Pachamanga. Apparently it's a family tradition to do so with all the PC volunteers that they have. It truely was a process, and tried I to document it the best I could (see the following link); however, it began around 10:00 AM and the food wasn't ready until about 4:30 PM (which included a 45 minute family soccer game at the local soccer field, while the food was burried), so there are a few lags in my doctumentation:

It was fun to see the family all working towards the meal. It reminded me of a big Thanksgiving-type dinner. Also, I found it interesting that they enjoyed watching the bonfire as much as any other family I know. Somthing about a campfire just make people stand around and stare, regardless of the culture.

And just in case my day wasn't full enough, a previous PC volunteer that the family hosted decided to show up, as she was one her way to Lima (she was going to Lima to catch a flight to Chicago, to vist friends and family). Her name is Laura, and has been the only girl volunteer my host family has ever had. She's easily Gregoria's favorite daughter, as I've heard non-stop Laura stories since I've arived (It almost reminds of how Marc Mariani is my mom's favorite son; except that Laura doesn't... well there's too many things to list here when comparing Laura to an NFL superstar). So after a few hours of chatting, Fran and I accompanied Laura to Lima (1h 45m by bus) and meet up with Danny. Danny drove us to the airport, where we enjoyed a coffee and wiated for Laura's flight to be posted. Once Laura was gone, Danny drove Fran and I to the taxi stop, and we paid 8S/. each to get back home (where I crashed into my bed around 1:00AM).

Anyway the Pachamange experience was great; however, I didn't realize howmuch food we had made until I found myself eating Pachamanga for the next four meals (lack of consistent refridgeration causes families to eat any leftovers before making more food).