Tuesday, July 31, 2007

OK, i did it. i updated the blog to reflect i am really here and not in Cuzco, Peru.

So, we've been here almost a month. i am still in my temporary digs and searching for a small place in springfield near my work. i changed my hours there also and am hoping being off nights and with more regular hours will cheer me up and get me into some sort of a routine. it seems i'm a bit out of sorts these days...

my biggest excitement was to write a photo documentary report of our project in Peru! It's lovely if i say so myself! it's really quite amazing what we all did. Pave wants to send it on to a group in Germany and apparently another in Spain to see if we can get more money for more stoves. Also, she has a dream of branching out in inorganic and organic waste management, recycling and such.

speaking of Pave, we talked recently on the phone and it was just like being there. it came right back! ...the energy, the plans, our animated conversations and ideas, and that nice feeling that comes when your work fills you in a good way and lines up with your heart and mind. (not to mention the fun we had too.) yeah, i miss Pave and the work and being in Cuzco... now, if not working (and yes, minus the feeling described above...), i wander aimlessly and can't find much point to things other than taking care of myself. (which i know is important but right now it just doesn't cross the excitement threshold.)

hopefully, once a bit more settled and not distracted by househunting, i can focus on getting caught up financially, and then on to important things like figuring out how to make this into a non-profit, raise money, and build more and better stoves.

and, oh, good news! word from DHL is that the package of vitamins is still in Lima and very likely to be sent onto cuzco after all. how cool is that??!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

i am looking at my blog and thinking i need to update it to reflect indeed i have returned back to earth and am no longer strolling the shiny stone streets of cuzco and san blas, or making much of a difference. as i write the paper for pave, (we are applying for grant money!) parts of how amazing it all was feel like they are slipping away and the more big deal, ie., stoves getting built is what i can focus on.

so this wasn't exactly a crash landing or anything as i got to come back first to a opportunity to view all our photos with friends, then visit my oldest and best friends in astoria and then be at the country fair with my family and friends. however on returning from the fair, i have had a lump in my throat since and can cry for nearly any given reason.

i really miss cuzco and walking and people and doing something crazy and totally fulfilling as working with pave and sleeve on the stoves just necause we said we would. i so realize that what i have just upon being back a few weeks is more than practically all of my friends in cuzco will ever know. a job that pays well, a room in a nice house, a bathtub, even a car that runs...in knowing this, i can't let myself bitch too much.

what i want is that middle ground....sabes donde esta??

Thursday, July 05, 2007

we're back! a potluck/slideshow will be held friday night, 7 PM, july 6th at steve's house. email me for directions!

Monday, July 02, 2007

wow we're in lima at the airport! sleeve is all decked out in his suit and hat, along with me looking like i´m a cross between a mountain climber, and a hippie, and a misplaced american woman with peruvian hat.... we make quite the pair!!

again, i leave cusco with some sadness. we saw an advertisement here for cusqueña beer depicting the Inca wall street we walked everyday, and went, ´ahhh, theres OUR street!!´
the city and it's inhabitants are quaintly unsophisticated, despite the tourists from all over the world and i love it. oh, well, there will be a next time!

see you all soon.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

this is our last night here! we are uploading photos and about to eat at one of our favorite places, los Perros and then meet chicho and vanessa at the kamikaze, a discoteca. we're going dancing!! most bars here including kamikaze have live shows and then disco music, lights, the works. tourists and locals alike. it's fun. and we're gonna celebrate!

so what a last day it's been! it began with meeting pedro, juana and laurita at the puputi bus station at 8 AM. they arrived for laurita's baptism. this is a family i've written about before. three or so years ago i met her as a result of her being pregnant for the 12th time at the clinic i was volunteering in. long story, but the short of it is that she had been repeatedly abused by one man, usually drunk. he lived with another woman and had other children and did not support hers. eight of her children have died before the age of one as a result of malnutrition. she was ill when i met her and unsure of her due date and had received absolutely no prenatal care. we (adela and i) brought her situation to the attention of the president. a village wide meeting was held and the asshole of a father was publically embarrassed and made to pay for her trip to the centro de salud. (not much but what are you gonna say) i will not go into it but it was quite the scene. she delivered in her home with her eldest son, pedro's help. she wasn't well after and pedro had to leave to work. and the baby was a skinny little thing. we helped with food and with medicines. from that point on i received potatoes and was asked to be a madrina. finally today was the baptism.

pedro and juanita walked with laurita on her back and two other heavy bundles from sipascancha to pisaq, getting up at 3 AM! then a bus here from pisaq. amazingly they were very close to on time. the service was performed by padre pumba, a friend of padre rene's. (for explanation's sake, i was raised catholic and am not in the least a practicing catholic today. however i view the ceremony as something more thought of as protective for this child, and perhaps equally important is that legally it will be helpful for her in the future. ) happily, ours was 'an under the table baptism!' while padre pumba ( a round younger man who spoke in Quechua!) performed the service, it was as a favor for padre rene. who will be registering the data at his church in yucay! as a nonpracticing catholic but spiritual person who can relate to its significance here, i am so happy everyone made it happen in the way it did!

we went for pollo la brasa, a favorite here. me, the little white girl, with the campesino family, rarely seen in a polleria in cusco. we got some stares. and out of the blue a child in a neighboring table choked on food and required a heimlich! that didn't help as far as more attention! oh well. i was just relieved to hear the child cry!

so, as sleeve mentions, he suffered a pretty big allergic thing last night post ceviche. fortunately he made it for the baptism, all decked out in his suit! you woulda´ had to been there. sleeve in peru, in a suit, and at a baptism, not to mention still a bit puffy. it was cool. maybe he'll post pictures!

so it was a day of visits and gifts being exchanged and beers and food being shared. lots of hugs and bst wishes. (yesterday too, with pave!) all touching. all what i love most about peru. the people and their thoughtfulness. and great news! is that only FOUR stoves are left to be completed. that means 96 stoves are installed where they weren't before, air is cleaner, and people like using them! (pedro will go one last time to the slackers and if they aren't built, they will be brought to other families.)

so, yeah about the best of these last two days is being with pave. we have a connection. and it's not just the stoves. also her energy, her neverending ability for work like this, her sense of knowing we always learn more and do it better the next time, her sense of humor, and her incredibly good heart. we're going to submit an application for money from germany! my part will be writing up our project,and, she will propose a recycling project, and tree farm....more on this later. she's all excited about it and its infectious! so we thought about different models, different materials and different villages. we want to go where the people are hardest to reach and likely the most forgotten. and this time do it in a way where we all work together and hopefully not set a precedent where all the answers lie in the hands of foreigners.

so tomorrow it'll be to the airport and in that space where you're in between worlds and everyone around you in transit headed somewhere. thanks amy for being in portland to pick us up! and congratulations to tina and ed on the birth of beautiful LOUIS EDWARD COLE. i saw the photos, he is gorgeous, as is his mom. and to shelley and perc and claudia, brigido be seeing you all real soon. just got to get the old volvo on the road and head her northwest. and to everyone else can't wait to see you all!!