Sunday, February 17, 2013


Roger and Dina grow ruda in their chacra. It's a plant that is used for natural medicine practices and generally sold on the coast. Each bundle they sell fetches 50 centimos (half a nuevo sol). With the 40 bundles seen here, Roger and Dina were pretty excited about the 20 soles they were about to earn.

 A week later Roger's grandfather died and the whole family went to Antash (Roger's pueblo) for the burial. I was in Huaraz at the time. While no one was at the house, the lady who buys the ruda to take to market (she's the only one in the area) came and stole the other half of the plants that Dina and Roger hadn't harvested. This was confirmed by the mule tracks left in the mud, the leaf trail leading back to her house, and the reports from the neighbors. When Roger confronted her, the house of lies folded around her, and the truth came out. The punishment? Roger told her to pay him more the next time he grows ruda, the 'ol honor system with thieves; we'll see how that works out.

Unfortunately thefts among neighbors is too common. My new favorite telenovela (soap opera) in Yurocoto is "El jabon de Brice" (Brice's Soap), which stars your's truly, the the ten year girl from next door, and her mother. More on that later.