The sound of a rooster crowing a little bit too early in the morning does a few things to my previously sleeping mind. Obviously, I am awoken, I am quite sure that we will be eating this rude alarm clock for lunch, and lastly it reminds me that once more I am back in site.
After a wonderful two week trip with my family I am finally back in site (have been for about 10 days now but have been too...lazy...to get a blog post up earlier). The vacation was great and I felt quite spoiled as we flew around the country and spent more than the usual $9/night that I spend on accommodations when traveling. As a family we were able to visit Trujillo, to see several ruins and relax on the beach. After that followed a trip to Cusco and a detour by bus to the city of Arequipa. I spent thanksgiving in Arequipa with some other volunteers and liked it so much that I wanted to share it with my family as well. Unfortunately we made the changes in plans quite late (2 days before), and were forced to take a bus. I didn't think the bus ride was too terrible (the road was paved and it was only a 9 hour trip...piece of cake). But my family, not quite as accustomed to the way of life, had some difficulties. After enjoying some museums in Arequipa with the parents (the siblings were quite sick and confined to bed), we headed back to Cusco (by plane). We were able to spend Christmas Eve perusing the once a year market that takes place in the town square and Christmas day touring the Sacred Valley with the Hanrahan family. The Hanrahans happened to plan a family trip to Peru that coincided with my families, though we did not travel to Machu Picchu together, we were able to spend time together in Cusco and Lima. On the 26th we traveled to Machu Picchu and had a great time touring the ruins and almost killing ourselves trying to take handstand pictures with the ruins in the background. Our trip wrapped up with a few days and nights in Lima before the family headed back to the states on the 30th of December.
Though it was a lot of family time, it was really great to see and travel with them. I can barely believe that within 4 months I will be back with them during a short trip to the states. But until then there's work to be done in site...
I returned to site ready to get down to work, but that motivation fizzled quickly in the face of the year end reports that consume the attention of my community partners. So I was left with a week of playing with the host siblings, catching up with friends in the community, and brainstorming on activities. In the coming months hopefully we will see a radio program, work towards a relleno sanitario (landfill), and perhaps a couple more libraries. Until then hopefully the rain continues to be tolerable...
Currently Reading: Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Read since last post: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Heft on Wheels by Mike Magnuson (do not recommend), Banana by Dan Koeppel, The Wisdom of Whores by Elizabeth Pisani (highly recommended history of the fight against AIDS), El cojo y el loco by Jaime Bayly
Pictures from Thanksgiving and Family Adventures