June 18, 2008

This week we’ve been back to the usual: work (Amber in the clinic and Josh at the school), Spanish lessons, spending time with friends and host family and continuing to explore Peruvian culture.

I’ve been doing a ton of Hep B vaccines this week and today we also gave tetanus shots to teenage girls in one school. Only girls get tetanus shots in Peru because vaccinations are expensive for the government and because it is more important to vaccinate girls who may become pregnant in the future.

Some pictures from school vaccinations (note many of the kids holding their left arm where we vaccinated them):


Monday afternoon we visited another large market in Cuzco called San Pedro. It hosts an abundance of meat butchers, florists, fresh juice makers, etc.

One of my favorite things here is the Mango con Leche (fresh mango milkshakes). Beth and I could not resist and ordered one from one of the juice vendors. They slice the mango and blend it right in front of you. But not wanting to sit and drink it, we asked the vendor if she had “to go” cups we could use. A few minutes later we walked away with our mango con leche in plastic bags with straws sticking out. (Also note in one of the pictures above, at one of the school where we gave vaccinations, they gifted us with Inca Cola “to go” (in plastic bags).)

One thing that has been very apparent since the day we arrived is that Peruvians like to celebrate and dance. Every day since we arrived, at some time of day, we have encountered a parade, people dancing in one of the many central squares or groups of people in traditional Peruvian clothing singing. 8am Saturday morning, midnight Tuesday night, 3pm on Thursday. Any time, any place. Tomorrow in the Plaza de Armas many of the local schools are participating in a traditional Peruvian dance competition. We’re going to go in the afternoon because the 16 year old son of from our host home is competing. Saturday night they are also having fireworks. It is especially festive right now because a very big celebration throughout all of Cuzco is happening on June 24th. I’m not sure exactly what they are celebrating but it seems to be somewhat equivalent to the American 4th of July. The festival on the 24th is unfortunate because we leave Peru on the 23rd.

It’s kind of like 2 years ago when we flew to Ireland the day after St. Patrick’s Day.

In other cultural events news, tomorrow we’re meeting with several other volunteers to go to a restaurant and eat one of Peru’s most traditional dishes. Cuy.  And by “we” I mean Josh and several other guys. Fire-roasted guinea pig does not look or sound appealing to me. At all.

We only have a few days left in Peru before we leave for Costa Rica and we’re making the final adjustments on our travel plans.

Josh’s cold is improving, however, his rash has spread. It now covers his arms, chest and abdomen. In my professional opinion, I think it’s just an allergic reaction and nothing more serious. We’ve made several visit to pharmacies here (which give prescription medications at your request) and I’m hopeful that the allergy pills and ointment with clear it up before we leave for Costa Rica.

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4 Responses to “”

  1. Sandi said

    Finally took the time to sit down and catch up on your blog. Sounds like you guys are having an amazing time. Loved the toilet plunger story and can’t wait to share it with Bruce!

    I miss you terribly and am so sad to know that your adventures will not be returning you to Ohio. What am I to do without you?!? Went to Ikea on monday and picked you up something small, will mail when you are no longer homeless.

    Keep on posting, your photography is breathtaking as always! Send our love and concerns to Josh and his rash situation! Slather him in cortizone or maybe give him a shot in the ass… hey take pics of that, it’d make for a good post!

    Anyways, we love you both! Be safe!

  2. Jen said

    The plastic bag thing is great. When there are parties here and there is extra food, or people want to give food to someone without giving away a container, it’s perfectly normal to dump the food (rice! meat, etc.) in a plastic grocery bag. Also, most of the popsicles around here are frozen in clear plastic bags. Then you bite a corner off and suck the popsicle out!

  3. schmanda said

    In Namibia we always had the frozen popsicle baggies too! (aw, nostalgia…sniff) but i think that a fresh mango milkshake in a plastic bag would be awesome! how fun. your hair is gorgeous, by the way. and you look beautiful as usual. no one would ever believe you’ve been living out of a bag for 6 weeks. Sheesh.
    we miss you.

    come to Russia. soon.

    By the way, it’s 11pm and the sun is shining.

    ~ Schmanda over and out.

  4. bruster said

    sounds like a great time, especially the rash… I mean, in spite of the rash. =)

    Tomorrow I’m going to soccer in the morning (9am), farmers’ market (sometime before 2pm), cooking a meal or 8 friends (5pm), and top it all off with swing dancing (7:30pm)! Sunday will involve lots of resting and prepping for Monday’s class.

    enjoy your last week, and get well, Josh!

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