Sunday, October 11, 2009

1 October

We had breakfast with Liz, her husband, her mother and her aunt. Liz is a teacher at the school and was the one who MC'd the reception at the school when we first arrived. While we were there we discussed ways we could help the school. We basically discussed the same things with Henry yesterday; white boards, computers, language lab, and obtaining "speedy" internet.
We then ate lunch at the home of Luis' nanny, Imelda. She served us a shot glass of the "agua caliente" after some fruit had soaked in it for a couple of months. It was very smooth! She then served us cuy with rice and potatoes. Ismelda's cuy was probably the best we had tasted so far.
After lunch we went to buy tickets to the final round of bullfights. It was scheduled for 3:30, but it was after 5 before things got started. The first matador to go tonight was one that didn't perform well in the last two rounds. His performance was a bit better, but he didn't kill the bull quickly. Even after the bull was down, it hung onto life. Finally, someone cut his throat and opened his chest to open the heart. We found out later that cutting into the bull is not appropriate and the stock contractor should be fined 20% of the cost of the bull for the infraction.
The second bull fight was better; not the best in style but a quick kill. He earned one ear.
There was a long delay after the second bull. The crowd was definitely getting restless; getting drunk and shouting "toro!" It escalated to throwing bottles into the ring; the glass ones breaking and scattering glass. The police came to find the culprits which turned into a physical confrontation in the crowd. And still the delay continued.
Unbeknown to us, the stock contractor accosted Jorge, Luis' brother who is the president of the festival, demanding his payment right then and there. The organizing committee had paid half up front and were to pay the rest at the conclusion of the event. But, for some reason, the contractor wanted his money right then. Even after Jorge esplained that he didn't have the money and that ticket sales had yet to be counted for the night, the contractor threaten to attack Jorge. As the grape vine picked up the action, cell phones went into action. Soon there was a support group behind Jorge. Jorge was also arguing that the fine should be withheld which helped to fuel the escalating tensions. The contractor then called the matadors and told them not to fight the third bull as he hadn't been paid. So all was at a standstill but emotions both in the stands and behind the scenes were on edge.
Then someone released a bull into the ring, but the bullfighters stood by. The bull then jumped the inner wall toward the crowd. We were four rows up and people in front of us were screaming, yelling and scrambling up into our laps. The fans are behind a second wall that is close enough to the first not to allow the bull room enough to come over into the stands. At this point, the bullfighters got involved, got the bull back into the ring and the third bullfight commenced. The matador was the famous Fernando, the rock star. He did a great job fighting the bull with some entertaining moves. However, when he tried to kill the bull with the sword, it took four tries before he was successful. And even then, he had to stab the bull in the brains to finish the job. Bloody, gorey, and brutal.
And behind the scenes.... the contractor was paid and violence was averted. Such drama tonight.
This evening Doug and I went to the yarn shop and bought 1/2 kilo (1 lb.) lots of 7 yarns, another small cone, 4 balls of crochet thread for warp, and some butterflies of some additional colors to serve as accents. All this was about $40. I'll be able to start a small version of the tapestry I've been designing with the fish, lizards and pelicans.
The men stood outside for at least a couple of hours drinking beer and trying to dispel the tension of the early evening. They were joined by a maestro (building contractor) Luis plans on using to build the fourth floor of his building in Lima. The maestro wanted to see the design of our home so he came in and we discussed the project. Without studying the plans, he estimated a price per square meter $100 less than the arquitect in Chiclayo. We agreed to get a bid from this maestro, who was a school mate of Luis in Santa Cruz. He was here for the festival, but lives in Nasca.

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