Friday, January 4, 2013

Alternative Christmas

Happy 2013 everyone!  It has been too long.

To recap 2013 so far there have been a lot of naps and a little bit of working, if this keeps suit I will own this new year.

So the dreeeaaaddeeedd holiday season of being a Peace Corps volunteer wasn't as bad as the horror stories I had heard since swearing-in, although there were so many there wasn't much room for disappointment.  It was undoubtedly hard to be away from family and friends for Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years, and I certainly lost my cool on more than one occasion, even to a member of PC staff for a mishap in internet billing and not being able to Skype my family on Christmas morning, but I made it through alive.  My family back home did as much as any family could to provide me with a seemingly normal Christmas here in Peru...I even had my stocking sent full to open on the big day along with many other wrapped gifts.  Thanks mom!

Here in Peru the big night for Christmas is actually Christmas Eve.  The tradition is to stay up and have dinner when the clock strikes midnight, (right after placing little plastic baby Jesus in his little plastic manger and a speed hugging session) and then go gallavant about the town and get hammered.  Check.  My host grandmother tried her damndest to get me to eat the turkey (no excuses for vegetarians on Christmas) but gracefully withdrew after a gentle threat of weeks of Paneton (weird squishy fruit gummy cake EVERY night before Christmas) coming back up all over her thoughtfully placed Nativity scene.

Before we celebrated Christmas Eve I gave my host siblings the gifts from myself, mother and grandmother for them to open.  They were thrilled and loved everything...despite the fact my grandma sent my 7 year old brother Leandro the game of "Jacks", which to everyones disbelief, we do not know in America is strictly a "game for girls."   I nipped that in the ass real quick and told everyone it was the favorite game of all my brothers and my father back in America, and all the Spanish soccer players play it too.  Cut to Leandro and his dude buddies playing Jacks ALL THE TIME.

A few days after Christmas, and after a lot of meetings, my friends and I headed to the beaches of Mancora to celebrate the New Year, aka why so many naps thus far in the last few days.  We had a great time none of which was documented by camera or by memory, but just take my word for it.

I have now returned to site where the mice have grown balls and have no fear of now using my room as their personal gymnasium, climbing, jumping and general fun having about my bed and every nook of my room.  I have been smacked in the face by the heat and planning of summer vacation activities, year planning and preparation for site visit.  Lots of visits to municipalities, practically begging for funding (which I actually received to my surprise this morning), season 3 of Dexter, thoughts of ETing (don't worry it's normal), sweating, and missing of all things American.  Less than 60 days until a visit to the homeland!  I can't see straight thinking of how excited I am to see my family and friends.  Also terrified.  More than 3 choices for beer?  Someone just order for me.

I leave you all with some pictures from the holidays and wish everyone a happy New Year.  We don't know how lucky we are.

Next best thing to the real family.

The riot for free toys from the municipality, casualties were had.

Live Nativity scene contest

normal for me to be holding baby livestock, Leandro was terrified.  Also wearing my jacket as I believe it was a brisk 80 degrees

Leandro and his track set his fantastic host sister bought for him

our Nativity scene

girls playing Jacks, as they should

sup Gerald

Typical Christmas dance in the streets... "La Danza de las Negritas"  super racist

yeahhh sparklers in the house

little prima playing with puzzle gifted to Geraldine

family pic! Sans mom

the kids

Christmas Eve!

Tia Jeni my girrrrrrrrrl.  Check out the talons on the turkey..oof

who wants Panetoonnnnn

body spray from Jeni don't mind if I do!

getting ready for the 'ole manger placement

hug orgy

drink up kids

my food! Chifles (fried plantain chips), some really good moroccan style rice dish, and turkey that remained. They tried.

Nailed it on the apple pie bring.  Merry Christmas!

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