Saturday, March 27, 2010
We just got home from a traditional Peruvian festival called a Yansa. The organizers of the fiesta collect gifts from those they invite a week before the actual party. Then, the day of the party, they put all the gifts up in a tree out of reach to those on the ground. It is quite a curious site to behold. The party started at about 7:00 and was in the street with intersections blocked off to provide a block area for dancing and socializing. At some point in the evening, the invited youth take turns with an ax and try to cut down the tree. When the tree actually falls, there is a scramble for the gifts that are now reachable. Too bad they actually cut down a tree to do this but I guess it originates in the mountains where there are many trees. It sounds somewhat similar to the Mexican fiesta with the piñatas. Unfortunately, Doug's stomach was giving him problems so we came home early and never actually got to see the cutting of the tree.
The items in the tree were quite varied. There were plastic bowls, shirts, wastebaskets, fanny packs, a bra, cups, socks...quite a variety.
This is Perico with his wife at the fiesta. Perico is our fisherman friend who often fishes right out in front of our property in El Nuro. He supports his extended family fishing from a small raft. This extended family includes at least 6 families along with neices, nephews, and grandchildren. Perico is well known in the village and is considered on of the elders, although we saw a relative of his tonight who is 93 years old. On many occasions we have called upon Perico for information and advise. He has welcomed us unconditionally and has helped us locate workers and necessary services.
The band played continuously from 8:00 until the time we left. There were children gathered in front of the band; probably ranging in age from 5 to 10. Boys and girls who wanted to interact with each other, but were still fearful of what their same sex peers would think. The boys might dance with one of the girls for a few measures of the music, and then they'd scramble back to their group. I enjoyed watching their interactions.
I made a tuna tartare this afternoon which wasn't too bad. The hardest parts was getting the proportions right and substituting for things I couldn't find here. Next time I try it, I'll adjust some of the proportions of spices.
We've had a couple of saphron finches on our patio. They've discovered the dog's water dish and will come for water. They are beautiful little birds. I'd like to figure out how to attract more birds to our garden, although this might be difficult with Stormy who goes after anything that moves...I mean anything!
Stormy has adjusted well to our location. She loves to run up and down the various levels. She will generally come when she is called, but is easily distracted. Also, when she is intent on something, we might as well not exist as far as she is concerned. She is getting better though about coming when called. And then there is always the squeaky toy....works wonders. We've discovered another trick; we have a toy called a Kong for her. I've been putting peanut butter inside it and she takes an hour or so to get it out. She loves the treat!
The last several nights, I've started out the night in the hammock. It has been sooooo hot that the hammock has been the most comfortable place to be at night. Even Koki spent most of the night out there. I lasted until about 3:30 before I came in. The may be the most comfortable place temperature wise, but not necessarily the best place to stretch out and sleep soundly.
Today's temperatures were much milder than the last several days. What a relief! There was a nice breeze off the ocean all day. And, as I've said, I think we are moving into more fall weather than summer weather. It seems a bit counter-intuitive that the summer months here are considered the "high season." We think this is the time of year with the worst weather. Granted it is the time when school is out and many families are able to take a vacation... but I would certainly choose another time of year.
Twelve days until the arrival of our cabinet maker. Two of those twelve days are Sundays when the crew won't work. Two more of those days are Saturdays when they work only half a day. Koki says we are on track and they will be ready for the cabinets on the 9th. We shall see.