Wow, the last couple of days have just flown by.
We spent New Year's Eve with Maximo's family. Of the five siblings, four were in attendance; Maximo and his wife went out with friends. The rest of the family had a wonderful party! We arrived about 9:30 and nothing much was happening. There was a tangle of yellow leis on the table so I delved in to help separate them all out. The yellow signifies happiness. There was also an assortment of masks and hats to wear as we brought in the new year. We had a dinner of pork and rice to start off with. Then we began the dancing and the drinking of beer. At midnight, we stepped outside and toasted with champagne. There were fireworks going off throughout the neighborhood and many shouts of "Felice Ano!" Several effigies of men were set on fire symbolizing the end of the old and the start of a new beginning. As we stood outside and watched the fireworks, numerous fires were burning along the street. And of course, each of us had several yellow leis, hats and masks as well as noise makers. At midnight we were also given a dozen grapes. Each grape represented the coming months and a wish was made for each month as each grape was eaten. Lentils were also available to put into your pocket. These were to turn into money in the coming year. Then we all went indoors and partied until about four. Our Peruvian hosts were surprised that we wanted to leave for our hotel at this point, rather than continue until daybreak! As it turned out, we didn't get back to the hotel until 5 a.m.
We changed our travel arrangements once again to leave Lima on the 1st and head home to El Nuro. As things turned out, our Dalmatian wasn't able to travel until her international health certificate was signed by the Department of Agriculture and they were shut down for the holidays. We decided we didn't want to wait an additional week for all the paperwork to get done. I will have to travel back to Lima at the end of this next week to get her, if everything goes well.
Once back up in the North, we began to settle into the room we are renting until the house is completed. The room is in a "hotel" a friend and his wife built. It consists of three rooms with baths and a kitchen in the fourth unit. Once the building was built, they split up and Jay has never finished the furnishing of the units and had an interest in turning it into a hotel. We asked him if he was willing to rent us a room for the duration of the construction and he agreed. Staying most anywhere else was hugely expensive and January and February is their high season and prices are outrageous.
We went to visit the property today to see the progress of the construction. They have excavated the ground for the swimming pool and dug foundations for the upper level of the house. It appears that some changes have been made in the layout, but we aren't sure why. The architect will be here on Monday so we'll get a better sense of what's happening.
We also got a chance to visit with my Spanish teacher who was up in the area for vacation. He had traveled north from Lima and stopped at many of the archeological sites along the way. He told us he had taken over 500 pictures!