the previous weekend we saw some tourists spraying, rather soaking each other with some tall cans of aerosol soap. then walking home from dinner later that night, natalie got hit by a bunch coming from a moving car.
it wasn’t until the next day when the antics were in full force we realized this was part of the cusco carnival celebration. unfortunately for us, we were still in food and school supply shopping mode so dodging people who wanted to hit us with aerosol soap wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. and that wasn’t all, kids were standing on roof tops with water buckets dousing people. all the way down our street we would see torrents of water come pouring off roof tops to hit pedestrians below. natalie even walked by two little kids with buckets in hand that were desperate to soak her but just couldn’t pull the trigger on the strange, tall, white woman.
this pass sunday we went to market and stopped by a nicer restaurant to have lunch since we were exhausted and starving from shopping. the waiter enthusiastically tried to sell us on the meal of the day, which was a special, celebratory meal for the last day of the week’s carnival. he nearly insisted we order the meal and pointed out that everyone else in the place was enjoying it.
i didn’t catch it’s name in español – but in english and to the eye it was a complete, barbequed goat’s head.
as i mentioned yesterday, the kids had four pages of school supplies to buy before starting school. as many items on the list were not immediately obvious to natalie she got a recommendation for a store that would have most items and went there first.
as a reward for purchasing so much stuff the clerks gave each of the kids a calendar.
here is the calendar they thought logan, our eight year old, would enjoy (you guessed it, you have to toggle the display because the calendar is not appropriate for all audiences).
yesterday was the kid’s first day of school at colegio monteverde. there were many things they could have been anxious about: did they have the right supplies (we were given four pages of items to bring); would they be able to communicate effectively in spanish; would the other kids be nice; and would they be able to go to the bathroom without a door on the outside of the restroom.
but the kids were up two hours before we needed to leave and counted the minutes until it was time to go. in fact, they were so keen to be there we arrived twenty minutes early.
my favorite moment of arriving at the new school was the exuberant greeting ethan got from a flock of girls when he entered the classroom. there were hugs and kisses as is the custom here and one slightly confused boy. then, there were confused girls when they realized this new, long haired classmate was a boy…
there are a number of curiosities associated with trash day here. first is that simple plastic bags full of rubbish are laid out on the street. given the number of wild dogs running around you can guess what happens to much of the trash.
our host suggested not putting anything out until morning and given the remnants of other trash ground in to the street and spread out over the shoulder you can see not everyone followed that counsel. so i found a few other bags intact and placed mine next to those.
when i came inside to detail what i saw the kids wanted to look out the window to see if they could see all the mess. right then, two men with large sacks on their backs who looked more like santa claus than garbage men came to the pile and started picking up the whole bags and placed them in their overstuffed sacks. a few minutes later they had loaded up what wasn’t spread all over the street and went on down the road…
our arrival in peru was full of surprises, mostly of the unfortunate kind: the jet way in lima got stuck and caused us to miss our connection to cuzco; the house we rented that was supposed to have internet service didn’t so much; and the backup lodging natalie had considered were all full or actually closed for cleaning (yep, we furrowed our brows at that too).
but there was one big positive surprise in mary. we met mary on the street as we were trying to familiarize ourselves with a neighborhood near the kid’s school. she welcomed our bedraggled family in to her home; made calls to help us find new lodging; reassured our local choice in private school; and explained a number of local customs we weren’t making good sense of.
ever since pay at the pump became common-place i don’t go inside gas station convenience stores very often. but somehow every time i do go inside there is good humor to be enjoyed.
last time i went in the convenience store a guy in line was buying an oreo ice cream bar when a younger man behind him, who had been singing in full throat earlier as he shopped, asked “needed a little, cold ice cream tonight, huh?”
the conversation went on to review the taste of an oreo ice cream bar, the buyer couldn’t comment as this was his first bar, the store clerk said they were quite good and loud singing guy said he didn’t like things that were too oreoey.
at this point, loud singing guy was quite pleased with himself and his oreoey word invention. he asked everyone if they had heard that word before – when no one had, he said “put that on your blog tonight”
loud singing guy is not to be denied, so i have put it on my blog…