Category Archives: fiesta

chau. for now.

the 17ers in true form.

the 17ers in true form.

in peace corps peru, the volunteers arrive in the country on a rotating schedule. so, like clockwork, volunteers come and go from peru. a few weeks ago, we gave a proper despedida to the 17ers in lambayeque. for the despedidas, we normally dress a little crazy, and maybe go a little crazy too. but we have fun, and we make sure to fill the night with recapturing memories during their service, and of course joking about what they will be remembered for.

my "site mate," phil, and me. this photo pretty much accurately sums us up both individually and perfectly captures our friendship. i already miss this old fool.

my “site mate,” phil, and me. this photo pretty much accurately sums us up both individually and perfectly captures our friendship. i already miss this old fool.

i became close friends with some of these volunteers, and a couple of them i can call long-term friends. but the good news is that with long-term friends, it means that it’s only a short bit until i am reunited with them again. though, the next group has some big shoes to fill.

well, i still have at least one lambaybestie to go crazy with me.

well, i still have at least one lambaybestie to go crazy with me.

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festi danza.

one of the great things about my vu programs is that it has allowed me the opportunity to get to know more people in the community and build confianza and friendship with them. some of my environment group participates in a young adult leadership/dance group in town, which i have now started to attend and hope to plan some future projects with them as well. this group also planned a performance and big “festi-danza” during the feria, which included regional dances from all over peru, and it was QUITE the show!

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IMG_2925the last picture was something that made me feel uncomfortable as an american, but does not have the same tone here in peru. yes, they are in blackface, however, in this circumstance they are demonstrating a dance from the sierra, which honors a famous saint who happened to also be black.

 

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baile.

agua marina…promoting cell phones…

during the feria, there were a number of bailes. four to be exact. the first night was my mom’s favorite band…and probably in my top 5 of favorite cumbia performers…agua marina. so the whole family, myself and my friend ali (a pcv in pimentel) attended the baile. and BOY, did we dance! we danced the night away from 11pm until about 2:30am when it started to pour down rain. we also began to leave right when the dance brawls began. you see, these bailes are just a delight. the band plays, and everyone buys their cajas of cerveza, and drinking, dancing circles form all across the dance floor. i cheered every time they wanted to hear the cheers from the tucumanos and i showed my family just how low i can go. oh, how i hope that one day i can have a visitor from the states when there is a baile in town…it would seriously be the ultimate cultural experience.

ps. my dance skills were the talk of the town, which left everyone asking me every day that followed if i attended the other bailes…which only left them disappointed…because really guys, i am not getting any younger and i had work to do…those crazies, i don’t know how they do it. seriously, peruvians have a knack for marathon partying and dancing and still work the next day. it’s quite incredible really.

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(tony) danza.

but really, who’s the boss? thank you community for answering this question for all of us. (i refuse to spoil the show for you).

anyways, the feria has started here in tucume. this month it is of the “purisma concepción.” my town has been talking to me about since i arrived in site in august. hundreds upon hundreds, if not more, are piling themselves in my small town. many are traveling from lima. family that has long moved away returns for this week.

the parque is bustling!

the parque is bustling!

to get the week (more like 2 weeks) started, i attended a danza de los diablicos competition. the history of this form of dance is quite interesting. it’s a traditional dance dating back to the 17th century conveying how the spaniards would try to trick the natives into joining the catholic religion by hiding in the pyramids and coming out at night dressed as the devil. now with the dance, it’s a tucumano folklore to express their world under colonialism, and how the colonists used fear instead of love for conversion.

the promenade of the contestants.

the promenade of the contestants.

i just love how they replaced the "2" with the "3."

i just love how they replaced the “2” with the “3.”

stayed tuned…a number of other cultural events will be happening over the next couple of weeks that have to do with this feria!

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nye.

getting ready for our night out.

getting ready for our night out.

we arrived in lima, miraflores to be exact, on new years eve. peruvians have all sorts of traditions for new years. first of all, everyone wears yellow (we obviously dropped the ball on this one, as noted above), and that especially includes yellow underwear…stands selling the garments littered the streets. at midnight there’s a lot of fireworks and many eat 12 grapes for good luck and run around the town fountain (sometimes with suitcases) in order to bring great travels in the new year. in my site, many people had miniature dolls that they burned in the middle of the street signifying leaving the old behind in 2012 and becoming anew in 2013. having it be that we were in lima, we just stuck with the grapes and the fireworks…but it was still a lot of fun. in fact, i woke up at 5:30 am to all of lima still celebrating!

some of the crowd sporting their yellow.

some of the crowd sporting their yellow.

just after it struck midnight! i can't believe it is 2013 already.

just after it struck midnight! i can’t believe it is 2013 already.

this picture really doesn't do the fireworks justice. not only could we see fireworks along he coastline, but they were happening right behind us too. so much so, that it was hard to watch without getting debris in our eyes, but still so much fun!

this picture really doesn’t do the fireworks justice. not only could we see fireworks along he coastline, but they were happening right behind us too. so much so, that it was hard to watch without getting debris in our eyes, but still so much fun!

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el aniversario.

it's not a celebration without fireworks.

it’s not a celebration without fireworks.

tucume held it’s anniversary a couple of weeks ago. not to be confused with the anniversary of famed scientist federico villarreal…like i was when we had a celebration back in august. anyways, there were all sorts of events going on throughout the week including a robotics competition, chess competition, career fair, massive marriage ceremony, and, of course, a serrenata that included fireworks. saturday also included the traditional marches, in which i got to join in on my first march. i guess that makes me a real tucamana now?

the massive marriage ceremony. this is quite popular in peru, as it allows the opportunity for people to get married that would not have been able to afford to otherwise.

the massive marriage ceremony. this is quite popular in peru, as it allows the opportunity for people to get married that would not have been able to afford to otherwise.

we had one of the finalists from the second season of "yo soy" perform.

we had one of the finalists from the second season of “yo soy” perform.

bryhen, jennifer and samia accompanied me to the serranata.

bryhen, jennifer and samia accompanied me to the serranata.

fanny packs with those outfits make complete sense. these guys also made me go out to the middle and dance with them and the mayor...not embarrassing. everyone spent the next few days talking about my dancing....

fanny packs with those outfits make complete sense. these guys also made me go out to the middle and dance with them and the mayor…not embarrassing. everyone spent the next few days talking about my dancing….

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wedding bells.

last week my host sister, angelica (who i met just days before the wedding), got married! her and jorge had a delightful religious ceremony in the main church in the plaza. then we went to a reception hall for an all night party. i ended up coming home around 2 am, which was way earlier than the 5 am arrival for the rest of my family. the next day was followed by another all day/night party with the extended family. over all it was great. a lot of dancing and a lot of food. i am still full from last week/the wedding from last night.

samia sandwiches making sandwiches.

my host sisters (jenny, angelica and karen) with jorge and samia.

i got squeezed into a photo as well.

the newly weds ready to get this party started.

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late(leigh).

oh hey! long time no see! sorry for the hiatus, especially after such a bleak one. i suppose i should update you on the activities that i have been up to. though up until last week, my work had been slow, i was still going out daily and working on charlas and encuestas with the ladies at vaso de leche.

doing my diagnostic in cruz blanca.

more encuestas being completed!

i also went to mocupe to help another volunteer with an event she planned with her school: an english singing competition! it was great. all the kids had planned a song to sing as a group and even choreographed and coordinated matching clothes. it made for a delightful afternoon. after which, i stopped into to chiclayo for some dinner on my way back, where i learned that there is a place that serves RIBS! obviously, it didn’t beat texas, but it will hold me over when i have my real red meat cravings.

phil, hallie and i served as the judges panel. too much pressure if you ask me. who wants to crush a child’s dream?

these girls were performing “wake me up when september ends” by green day. they even had a group of fans with balloons and posters.

my weekends here somehow always end up being way busier than the weekdays, which goes to show that peace corps really is a 24/7 job. a couple of weekends ago i was invited to a friend’s grandfather’s 80th birthday out in la ramada, which is a caserio in the sierra for salas. it was my first time to the sierra since being in peru, and it was breathtakingly beautiful. peruvians are marathoners of parties. this party started at 7:30 am and was still happening when we left at 8:30 pm. needless to say, that by the end of the day of eating, hiking, dehydrating, dancing and speaking only in spanish all day…i was exhausted!

la ramada, salas.

we went on a couple of hikes through miguel’s family’s land, which led us to a couple of rivers. while hiking through the lush, dense land we happened upon a lot of beautiful flowers, fruits and more.

this is the plant that they use to create the reed islands and kayaks.

banana tree.

 

this is when i felt like i was on an episode of LOST.

while hiking i tried a lemon dulce from its tree. it looked just like a lemon and smelled like one too. i thought my friend was trying to prank me, but instead it was just pure deliciousness. it seriously tasted like lemonade in whole-fruit form.

a view from one of points of the river we hiked to.

 

an ancient moche lunar calendar we happened upon while hiking.

 

the birthday boy. eighty years young!

this guy was great. he would come up say every single word he knew in english to me in one breath. i then realized what i sounded like when i spoke spanish. but really, he was just a hoot.

i also helped with a nationwide fundraiser in my town, called teleton, where my town had a 2-day event in the central park. the schools all performed different traditional dances, with some kids performing some solo numbers. it was quite a treat! and quite an eight-hour work day!

a performance and our booth in front of the muni.

i also took a much needed break and met up with some friends for some karaoke. if you know me, this is the best form of self-therapy (after bowling of course) for me, and turns out the place we went to had tons of country! i am not just talking about pop-country, but i mean REAL country (george strait, waylon jennings)!!!! needless to say, my fellow texan and i performed plenty of country songs with a number of “yee-haw’s!” to boot. we were far from the karaoke bars favorite customers, but at least we felt a little piece of home here in peru.

as i had hoped/predicted the eighth week was much busier. the huelga with the schools lifted, so now the kids are in school six days a week to make up for the lost time. my socia at the health post is back from her month-long vacation and people in my town are finally starting to recognize the only gringa in town. i forgot to have my camera with me to prove my activities, but i was back with partnering with the health post on charlas. i did a fun self-esteem one with balloons. it was a hit.

i also did a mini intro-session/charla of the peace corps to some business-owner friends. i have started to do some initial stages of planning with the police. i met with an artisan and plan on working with her artisan group and help them establish an internet presence and other marketing ideas. i went to an event out in morrope the other day with another volunteer, terrace. we hitched a ride back from the caserios in an enormous dump truck. while the fellow was out of the truck trying to take care of something, we replaced his cumbia cd with a cd that terrace made of herself singing environmental verses in spanish to the tunes of hit american pop songs. all i can say, is that he will be delightfully surprised when he next turns on his stereo. i mailed my early-voting ballot in. i have been eating CHIPS AND SALSA…chips and salsa, people!!!! i attended another wedding last night and took my place as the token gringa dancing the night away with all the old men.

of course there are still plenty of challenges to come: por ejemplo, my socia at the health post is going on an indefinite huelga starting this wednesday. but i will take a week full of positives for now.

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we always need a celebration.

that’s it. i am convinced that tucume loves a party…but really where in peru (or better yet, the world) does not? anyways, my town acquired two new dump trucks and motorcycles, and we celebrated it.

a very riveting presentation.

after the presentation, they had a procession of all the vehicles owned by the municipality, which proved to be quite an impressive collection.

the procession headed down my street. the yellow building on the left is my house. and you can see my host sister looking out the window.

can tucume build it? you better believe it.

the crowd exponentially increased with the procession, and they were eager to see the new dump trucks.

along with the increase in crowd, came a number of traditional dance performances and clowns…including mickey and pooh! and later on in the day there was a live band with, of course, TONS of dancing.

samia loves mickey and pooh. so did what any good auntie would do, i went home to fetch her to come meet them. it was too cute. she got all dressed in her sunday dress and shoes, and we excitedly walked to the park. however, she reacted the way most 4-year-olds would react when meeting you favorite cartoon characters…with tears full of fears. fail on my part. it’s like when you take a small child to see santa…some things are best left to their imagination. but can’t the same thing be said about adults as well?

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procession.

my town has been all about the parties lately. the day after the football party, the main church in my town celebrated the anniversary (or half-anniversary) of their virgin saint. at least that is what i think it was. the night before and saturday night, there was a procession where the virgin saint was carried throughout the town.

the procession even continued onto the panamerican, which really held up tons of traffic, as it is the only main highway this far north. and the street was blocked for at least 45 minutes. needless to say i am sure all the vehicles were thrilled.

the beginning of endless traffic.

the procession was lead by a number of traditional dancing kids. through their song and dance they were telling a story where good conquers evil…i am sure david gave me a more detailed explanation, but that was all that i understood. typical.

one of the kiddos dancing.

and of course, it would not be a peruvian celebration without fireworks! check this guy out!

david told me that they have another celebration for this saint in february, but it’s much bigger, with more people and way more fireworks. honestly, i don’t even know if that is possible.

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