Sunday, August 25, 2013

"Human Knot" in the Chicharia

After two years in my site, I can honestly say there are some things that I will NEVER miss. One of them being the significant amount of drunks that wondered aimlessly up and down the highway, at all hours of the day. There were people that I'd see almost every day, for my two full years,  "cartoon drunk" (hiccuping, walking as if they are leaning into hurricane force winds, falling over, peeing themselves, sleeping in the middle of the road, yelling, crying, picking fights with passer-byes and then staring miles off into the distance mumbling to themselves). 

 Obviously, alcoholism is a huge challenge for this community; and loose mouthed, pushy drunks often tested my patience (being the resident Gringo made me a easy target). The main source of this pain was chicha (a fermented corn beer that could be bought for S/.1 ($0.36) per 2.5 liters), and the 3 plus chicharias (places that sell chicha) in my small site of 400 families. Added to this were the 7 plus other places you could buy liquor or beer (talk about over saturation). 

Therefore, to gain some passive aggressive revenge towards the end of my time there, Jeff and I decided to go into the biggest chicharia in town and teach a dynamica, one of the many non-formal educational games we learned in training. This particular dynamica is called the 'human knot', and is meant to be a ice-breaker that also promotes communication and team work... perfect fit for this situation.  Surprisingly, these guys did pretty good. Here's the video: