Saturday, September 25, 2004

I had made an entry here, but erased it because it was so depressing!! Yes, it was about life back in the United States after being in Peru--pobre de mi-- i will just say it has been hard to pick up where i had left off. Its like being a stranger in one's own country. but, because i am trying hard to just not place to much thought to all that, i won't say more in regards to that.
so not much in entries since stepping off the plane july 13th 2003. i changed the mae of the blog to still pencils from peru, but with the acknowledgement that it is also life afterwards.
first stop, right off the plane, had been upstate NY. i took a train from NYC after seeing rosemary and ruth from cmmb. we had lunch and talked about my year in el peru. i left their office happy to know they would support me again when i could return and pick up where i left off. still hopeful at this point....
so then it was on to my parents home. a little village on the hudson river. days spent running down the road and around the back roads a few miles from their house. some days i would abruptly burst into tears, flashing back on the weeks prior...the kids in sipascancha, washi and carlos of ollanta, ramoncito stranded in spain, my cool backpack trip with michael, a fellow american living there, and the pleasure of wandering around ailmlessly when not working. hoping i could just be here a few months with enuf money to return. i remember feeling the memories slipping some and a growing fear i would get trapped in all this again....days spent with my mom in the thrift stores, her trying to get me back looking the way she remembered me. and of course the culmination of the trip, my parents 50th wedding anniversary. sad in some ways, after years of a family feud, now not many family members around to celebrate with them. and my brother not looking too good, he has been ill for years now. and how he sat there removed from it all. and me trying to be there! but what i saw was not what my parents saw. they were happy to share it with their friends and were happy to have me there.
what day was it? think aug 1 2004, the day i left there for oregon...first stop astoria and then onto to eugene. a job maybe waiting for me. best part percy picking me up at the airport. great times with my oldest and dearest friends. gracias el dios por eso...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

its my birthday--now 49. can you fucking believe it?!
i'm going to a concert with scott. leslie is gone on cycle oregon and unfortunately cannot join us.

i want to download more photos though, now since i've been back...going back to being in NY, astoria, seeing my son, josiah.
first the scene of the anniversary party--stockport, ny, firehouse....a few shots...
then onto arcata and humboldt county to visit my son josiah. we spen an afternoon swimming and eating pnut butter and jelly sandwiches. great time!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

how about some photos. here are a few going back to my last few weeks in peru.

so, el peru....cristo blanco, a statue, actually a gift from the palestinians to the peruvians. he overlooks cusco with his arms outstretched. i saw him almost everyday, his feet that is from a little trail i followed on my run. it was beautiful. ramon and i would take this route together, i probably would never have discovered it on my own. first i left the habitacion (room), then down the stairs, all forty of them, passing arturo, a guy who worked as a security guard for some expensive hotel, "buenos dias, donde vas, laurita??" a correr...then it was up a sidestreet that always smelled like pee...unfortunate but true...and then up the calle. the streets were all cobblestone, and one needed to be alert to the tikos, taxis everywhere, laying on their horns! so it was up, and starting to climb, i never went in but there was a shaman who practiced there at the top of the street. then it was up about another 40 stairs, by a pretty waterfall, unfortunately strewn with garbage, to the next street that climbed on up more to the site of the ruins. it was called sacsayhuaman and was on top of the mountain, not visible from the city, but below one could see all of the city. the incas made the form of the city in the shape of a puma. you could get a better sense of it at night. so it was up and up! occasionally you would see other runners, but not many fools such as us...along the road, there was a point that the stone barricade existed. it wasn't really tall. but at the point it ended ramon liked to stretch. mind you i was almost dead at this point and welcomed the rest. so eventually one came to the gate. here cars of tourists had to stop to show their boletos. locals could be up there. me, they always said buenos dias to me as i hopped over the chain strung across the road. but, the real locals, not me, could go anywhere they wanted in the ruins, i was allowed along the perimeter! once i was really ehausted and thought i would cut across, but jesus, i was stopped by a guard and had to turn around! so around the perimeter was cool none hte ess. you could go keep going up and then come to another road and begin going straight down or you could head down this little road past more open pasture like areas, campesinos sitting in the grass weaving with their llamas grazing, or go past little herds of animals. there was a girl i used to go by and she would be playing hopscotch by herelf and always ask to see the time! she really was more intrigued by my watch thn anything. and i carried a cd walkman and young boys on horseback would stop and talk to me and ask to listen! once even, a shaman did stop me, que sorpresa to do a cleansing on me. i must have looked "dirty", i don't know. i never saw him again after that!anyway i am meaning to describe my run and cristo blano! i am getting off track. so once taking the little road (my favorite way) there people would be playing soccer or walking, or people (and a few tourists) on horseback. eventually you came to the road headed down and then, a short way there was a path to cristo blanco. and when winding down past there, one entered the other entrance of sacsayhuaman. another cobblestone path, a little creek and stairs down brought you back to the original street i came up. then it was running down, down, down onto calle suecia and into the plaza de armas. so cool. and at the plaza i would rest on one of the benches. watch people. and go get un jugo mixto and flirt with one of the waiters and finally back to the plaza and into my cd case for just one cig rolled up in there.... crazy crazy crazy.

the next, flowers at el mercado plaza san francisco. the woman i often saw was not there the day chicho and i went taking pictures shortly before i was to leave. she of course was old, but very sweet. she always gave me an extra flower she thought special. the mercado itself was HUGE and funky. different sections inside were devoted to meat, fish, vegies, clothes, seamstresses, spices, household stuff, traditional clothes, flowers (!) it was unbelievable, music blared and people everywhere. campesinos would be even along the walkways on the ground with this little tarp with a display of potatoes, cheese, a few vegies, whatever they had. outside, others sold more stuff under little booths protected by tarps that lead up to the market. and there was a section police stopped tourists, i guess because it was truly where the locals, and the poorest was where things were even cheaper, because the locals didn't have the money tourists had. i became accustomed to it with ramon. so it was ok, but friends of mine who came to visit had to be instructed about blatantly looking like they had money or know cameras, backpacks, etc. this being because the people there would never hurt you, but they may steal from you. you can't always blame them.

following that, the big blue door one had to unlock before entering where i lived. calle alabado numero 565. altho it was big, the actual opening was small. my backpack never fit thru it unless i went sideways and bent. calle alabado was a pedestrian only street, some 40 steps up from the bigger street below, calle ruinas. it was hilarious to get into the place. first there was a key for the blue door. then there was another key for the inside gate. this gate did not always work right...and when you were able to open it and walked through it would just CRASH shut unless you caught it. so once inside there was a very funky courtyard with a palm tree in the center. (a huge green hummingbird seemd to live in that tree) stuff was piled everywhere! not all the rooms were habitable. mine was up the stairs, old old stone and then a few funky wood ones.. and the there was another key to open the padlock there. and to get in if you lost your key! ring, ring, goes the timbre. some 15 people lived back there! you would hear QUIEN ES?? like really loud. but they could never hear you and so you would likely be ignored. eventually someone would come up with a key though or stick their head out from the window above.

like always i believe there are a few photos if one were to scroll down of the run, the market and where i lived when in cusco and not working...

hey, sorry i went on there...:) i was having fun remembering.