Scenes from my home-stay environment:

this is looking at my bedroom window


this is my bedroom.  The floor is rough concrete… basically compressed dirt and concrete.  Drop something on the floor and it’s instantly dirty.  Everything is always dirty.  Put some clean clothes on, and they will be dirty within 20 minutes. 


my bedroom from the other direction.  Electrical lines are exposed, one outlet, adobe construction, no heating…very posh.  My wall is adjacent to the indoor kitchen (there’s one outside as well) but the wall is not fully filled in, so I hear everything.  I thought our house in Edmonds was privacy free… not even close.

Homestay-4 the infamous shower.  Note the exposed 220-volt circuit breaker switch to the left of the window.  There is a door (of sorts), but it’s just slats of split tree branches.  One does not want to touch those lines above the shower when the 220 is flowing to the white heater while the water is running.  At best it produces a trickle of tepid water.  And given there is no glass in the windows and the door is basically open, taking a less-than-warm shower at a 9,500 foot elevation in winter makes for a exceedingly fast process.   The experience is so unpleasant that I’m now taking showers every other day and doing a sink wash with hot water that’s boiled (there is no hot running water) on my off days.  Shaving is now every other day.  I have to think of this as a variation of camping.  The family I live with takes a shower once a week.  I certainly won’t go there… but that’s how everyone here lives. 



Paola – she’s very cute, if not a bit spoiled.  Understandable, because her brother Gabriel can be quite the tormenter.  He poured milk on her head at dinner last night.  Apparently Peruvians are notorious for the inability to discipline their children. 


Gabriel.  Nice kid in a pain in the ass sort of a way…and a bit of a character at times.


 Maize and a variety of Peruvian potato.  They are everywhere, and end up in the soup on a regular basis.  They are very good. 


Yesterday morning when I came out of my bedroom (which is just to the right – the bathroom is the small building in the background which is directly across from my bedroom) Jose’s sister was at the sink along the bathroom building wall. She was washing some entrails.  Then I noticed the pig hanging on the tree.  I guess there will be one less squeal in the pen in the side yard. 


The outside kitchen.  Can you guess what’s cooking under the white plate?  Yup, it’s pork.  And it did not come from the local mercado.  They use the corn husks as fuel.  They are a surprisingly efficient energy source: almost no smoke, no discernible oder, and they burn fairly long.  The other pots are boiling our drinking water.  


Well, the pig moved from the courtyard to the living/dining room.   One can only imagine where he’ll go next.  My bedroom is out of the question!

 We had the pig for dinner.  It was very good.  It´s no longer hanging in the living room.

~ by Robert on June 19, 2009.

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