Monday, April 30, 2012

A quick update

Hi there folks! Well, not much has happened since I last wrote. Last night César and I went to see the Trujillo ballet company which was nice, since Cajamarca doesn´t have many theatre or dance events. The attendance was dreadful though and it was so cheap so that´s a shame since they probably won´t return. There were a couple of terrific male dancers there though. They started with the Cajamarca children ballet dancers who were about as good as the Rivers ballet dancers but they had better tutus. The seats in the theatre were so cool because they all had pull up tables like in aeroplanes!
Apart from that we have just been working hard. The April cycle ended on Saturday and I rushed to correct a large amount of exams and calculate final grades. We are planning to travel in June before my trip back to Canada so it is necessary to save lots of money! César has met with the lawyers about his mother so now he just has to wait for the legal processes to get going. Hopefully some money comes out of it so buy his mother a small house to live in where she can be herself and not have to worry about landlords. On Friday I went for lunch at my old host family´s house so that was nice. Always an eye-opener re. class differences. Well, I´ll update when something actually happens, I have a couple of days off and no money so that is never exciting! See ya!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rumbo a Cajabamba!

Well, remember how I said that we were going to go to the Rock Forest? Well, César´s friend invited us to go to Aguas Calientes with them in his truck so we decided to go there instead! It was a bit uncomfortable with 5 people in the back of the cab but at least we didn´t have to pay to take the bus! It was raining so the bags got a bit wet even though they were covered with plastic, go figure. When we arrived to Aguas Calientes (natural hot springs) we ate some overpriced food and then went off to someone´s country house. The house was made of mud and very simple but it did have electricity which shows the mining influence in the area since we were in the middle of nowhere. The outhouse was a hole in the ground with a mud wall on 3 sides. The hole was super deep, you couldn´t even see the bottom, and I was scared I would fall down. I asked César if he thought anyone had ever fallen down there and I think that should be on the show 1000 ways to die. He just gives me that look in the moments when I come out with things like that. Anyway, we were just hanging out in the yard with lots of people who I didn´t know and someone got the idea that we should have duck for dinner because there were ducks in the yard. One man tried to catch a duck but just kept bringing back geese. Finally he caught a duck and MURDERED IT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES! Then he got told it was the male breeder duck and that it was worth quite a bit of money. But then one of the relativies of the people who owned the house said that it was no problem because somebody stole 200 guinea pigs from their house and they showed me where the creatures are raised. That was great. They didn´t end up cooking the duck until the next day at lunch but I didn´t partake in that as I still remembered the poor thing alive. The next day we went off together to eat the famous hen and head soup (I chose hen because I don´t like my food looking at me) and then had a couple of nice beers with inca cola in a relaxing village where I also had to use the bathroom and though it was just a hole in the ground it was feces free and therefore quite inviting. Then the girls and I decided to go swimming at the pool. I was wondering why everyone was lying on the side instead of swimming since the sun was out, that is until I stepped foot in the water and almost burned my skin off. Afterwards we decided to go to the private baths but unlike Baños Del Inca in Cajamarca they had no cold water so it was too hot for me to step into. As I left after 5 minutes an older lady outside asked what was wrong, and I told her I couldn´t stand the heat. She said it takes a few minutes to get used to it and that´s okay. I think it´s only true because all your neurons burn off and you stop feeling anything. I went to a hotel to have a cold shower instead-
Well, then César and I (well, more me than him) decided to go off and see Cajabamba, we walked a bit and then took a mototaxi to a small village where we had some kind of spicy meat concoction for lunch which was disguised as hen and then I used the most disgusting bathroom I have ever seen, I mean it was BAD and even my purse around the neck squatting while holding the wooden door thing shut with one hand and trying not to step in anything or fall down the hole technique didn´t cut it and I left with a dirty feeling. Luckily the lady didn´t charge me for using that...bathroom. Then we caught a combi and were off to Cajambamba. The views in the valley were marvellous but as it was raining and the windows were dirty my photos just don´t do it justice. When we got to Cajabamba we walked around the town which was really nice, the market was clean and organized and it looked really modern unlike the really dirty market of Cajamarca. Then we had to get back because we had left our suitcases in a hotel in Aguas Calientes so as to be able to travel lighter. It was also raining and we didn´t have any jackets. We were just returning when we got to a point in the road which was totally flooded by the river and the taxi driver told us to get out because he wasn´t going to cross. So everyone in the cab got out and there we all were in torrential rain watching a tractor pull another taxi across the road river it had gotten stuck in. We waited for a bigger truck vehicle to come and they luckily conveyed us to the other side. We got our bags and waited outside in the rain, me singing and dancing int he rain and César not amused saying the delay was my fault because I wanted to go to Cajabamba and I didn´t listen to him on the way saying that if the rain continued that road would get blocked. I didn´t care cause I was happy!
Well now I am working 41 hours of in class teaching plus preparation and marking so I am really quite busy and I get quite tired. César has just left for Huambos to get his mum´s birth certificate sorted out and I am going to bed right away! Have a good one dears!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

We have some catching up to do!

Well I am sorry for the long delay, my internet has been somewhat hit and miss and sometimes my blogs dont get saved and I cant find the energy to start writing again from scratch after a novel gets erased :( but thanks to my super intelligence I am now using the super safe copy and paste technique- yay!
Did I tell you about my experience in the market? César and I went looking for a wheelchair for his mother and we ask in one used goods place and they didnt have any, so we are walking through the vegetables (great, fresh and cheap mmm) and the SHADIEST man ever calls us over to the shadow. We go to meet him and he says ¨ heard you´re looking for a wheelchair¨ while looking around him as if being pursued. ¨uhm, yeah¨ ¨what kind do you want, electronic or manual¨ ¨well, manual..¨okay I got one but you cant take it to the hospital¨ ¨well, we have to take it to Limatambo Clinic¨ at this point he seems to be muttering and considering it and then he says, ¨okay give me 200 soles¨ ¨well, can we see it first¨ ¨ no you give me the money and then I will get it to you next week¨ hahaha, yeah right. He gives us his number and an obviously false name and runs off into the shadows. Me being intelligent and all I said, hey César I think he is going to nick a wheelchair from the hospital and sell it to us. César said, want to say that a bit louder? And then I was smiling because it felt like we were in a really sketchy movie.
In the end César got a used one from a friend and painted it sky blue (at his mother´s request).
I have been working lots, I have class from 3-10 p.m. and no break and for 6 hours on Saturday which is a lot of teaching hours for one week when you consider normal teachers work monday to friday from 9- 3:30 with a lunch break and often snack breaks too! I am pretty tired at the end of the week! Plus I sometimes do translations in my free time. Unfortunately due to this insane amount of hours I haven´t had time to travel. César and I bought a sofa, as you can see in the picture.
You know how intelligent people measure the size of their doors before purchasing a large object? We didn´t do that. So not only did we have to take the door off the hinge, but also the entire wooden part around the bricks which sustain the door in order to get the thing into the house. Here is a warning for all you idiots like us, use a tape measure! doh! But at least now we have a lovely sofa to sit on and watch T.V. as we have also bought a little T.V. because our pirated movies will no longer work on the laptop.
However, last week I had to travel to Chiclayo (6 hours by bus) to pick up my visa extension and since I had to get the day off work César and I took the opportunity to travel to Mancora (another 6 hours by bus) to a beautiful beach and relax! While in Chiclayo César introduced me to a man who helped him out a lot as a child and is like his father. He was a very nice fellow and I am sure we will see him again! He is with César in the photo. We had lots of fun swimming in the ocean with huge waves and even though we used sunscreen we still got very burnt. We also met a cool Argentinean man called Martín who was backpacking through South America. He is 30 and had some great stories!
It was Cesar´s birthday on March 27th and I made him this great lemon cake (with real lemons) it was delicious even though it looked a bit odd.
César´s mum is much better and living where she wanted to.
César and I are off to Chota tonight for a couple of days to see the La Bosque de Piedras- The rock forest. Sounds fascinating right? I will take some pictures to share with you! It´s Easter so we have 4 days off which is prety much a miracle and must be taken advantage of! :)
I now have classes with up to 27 students and have had to move to a bigger classroom. I have yet to receive Ron´s evaluation but I think it wil be soon.
My hands are suffering from the blue ink I use in my whiteboard pens. I am sure that chalk and a blackboard are much safer for them and then I would feel like a real teacher!
In June I am off back to Canada and in July I will take the TESOL course at ACC where Katie studies. Will be nice to see everyone after a year away!
It was chucking it down outside but now the sun is shining and it´s lovely! I continue to experiment in the kitchen and César is the victim to it! hahaha
Well, I will update you about Chota with pictures (unless my camera gets stolen of course but it has survived almost 6 years now!) next week!
Take care!