Friday, September 2, 2011

...woah this is my life now

Oh… haha, just found the labels from the sex ed dinamica (activity) I ran with the nurses from the health post yesterday… and then last night I definitely electrocuted myself in my electric shower – DEFINITELY worth the hot water I’m getting in the campo though. Take that city volunteers. Seriously, how is my campo house so awesome?

But that was yesterday. Today, haha, or well I guess tonight really, is definitely a good way to describe my new reality here. So after spending the day in Huaraz (the closest city) learning how to become Girl Scouts leaders in our communities (um, yes please), Keren and I had to pick up a few things before heading back to site. Problem was, it was 5:15, we had a ton of stuff to do, and the last colectivos (think bus system, but in car form) to our adjacent towns leave around sundown. But if you know me, you know I do rushing very well.

So first Keren and I run off to the closest libreria (office supply store), where, surprisingly, the grumpiest saleswoman ever gives us excellent prices on papelotes (huge poster sized papers, great for running dinamicas). Then it’s off to the market to buy Keren some fruit, cheese, and bread for her family (with a slight stop at the churro stand). As Keren gets fruit, I go for the most fly infested meat stand (not really, but seriously though I should have been a little more selective) and buy my family a half kg of beef as requested. As I reach for my bloody bag, I also decide to purchase a ginormous cucumber which I cannot wait to eat.

Bloody bag and cucumber in tow, and also two more purchases of flax seeds and garbanzo beans (ridiculously easy and cheap to get here btw), I find Keren and we head off to the ferreteria (hardware store) to buy locks and paint. Keren picks a beautiful teal color to paint her room, I buy a few wachas (haha… washers), and we’re off to another ferreteria, because this one doesn’t have an exterior lock that will fit my door frame.

Turns out locks that actually fit my doorframe are quite difficult to find. By the time we find one its 6:38 and the sun is down. We decide to cut our losses and try to get back to our sites anyways. The very nice man who sold me a lock which actually fit gave us very incorrect directions to where we needed to pick up the bus back to site. We end up asking about 10 more people who all end up giving us opposite directions.

Finally we find the bus stop in front of the market. We climb in with our giant papelotes, Keren’s fruit, bread, and cheese, our locks, and our paint, my bloody meat bag, and both of our backpacks, and go straight for the back, where I tried warning Keren that the rear corner seat is the worse, because literally there is no escaping. To no avail.

Slowly the bus fills up and the combi driver keeps yelling at us to scooch closer and closer (…wishing I hadn’t eaten so much Chinese food at lunch). Poor Keren is completely plastered against the window, I’m stuck between Keren and this adorable old quechua woman, and on top of me is my backpack plus all of our stuff.

Oh right, and its nighttime, and we’ve never travelled to site alone, let alone at night, so we really have very little idea about where we’re going. So we just pray we’re going the right direction.

And we were! And we actually got off at the right stop! And there were colectivos waiting to take us the final leg to our sites! And my host mom’s sister is in the car and she’s the best!

So we pile into the trunk of the station wagon colectivo, bloody meat bag and all. As we’re travelling down the dusty dirt road, in the back of this car whose trunk door won’t even shut, we stop briefly. There are two cars in front of us, but we’re not really sure whats going on because, well, we’re in the trunk and its hard to see from the trunk. And then we realize, while the car is still running, three men are going to fill up our gas tank (which is right next to me), directly from a tanker (not exactly sure the correct phrase, one of those huge gas trucks), which I’m pretty sure is also running.

About ten minutes later I arrived safely home, still cracking up, to my host family who is finishing up dinner and crowded around a map and worrying about me. Love them. Tonight is still funny to me, but becoming normal. That’s my life now. And its awesome. And I love it.

Love you guys – thanks for all the emails!!!

*Glossary of terms you have to know to be able to understand what in the world I’m going to be talking about for the next two years:

Charla – a talk/class given by a teacher, volunteer, health post official, etc.

Taller – a workshop

Dinamica – a game run within a charla or taller, used to reinforce and teach info

Churro – delicious fried dough pastry filled with caramel, dipped in sugar, mmm.

Ferreteria – hardware store

Libreria – office supply store

Combi – bus, but where we live, van sized

Colectivo – again, think bus system in car form - also there is no limit to the amount of people or objects one can fit inside of a colectivo. Also, Keren will always be found in the most crowded colectivo.

Also, Five Things I Always Carry With Me At All Times:

- Toilet Paper (also newspaper and used notebook paper are good alternatives)

- Hand Sanitizer (see above)

- Camera (because hilarious things happen constantly)

- Sunblock (the sun is ridiculously potent here - hence my ridiculously burnt face)

- Water bottle (with my slightly brown home-boiled water! mmm)

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