I only have 7 weeks left in Sicchez! I was thinking on the bus ride up here that that was probably the second-to-last time I will go up the mountain to Sicchez in my two years. Wild. Clearly I have not in any way mentally prepared myself to say goodbye. It’s so overwhelming! There are so many people to say goodbye to, and still a fair amount of work to finish up, and just what do you say after living in a tiny town for two solid years and then leaving for almost-ever?! For the next three weeks I’m just focusing on the easy stuff – final house visits, final peer educator classes, final meetings with parents, preparing a final report. Then I’ll get down to the hard part which is giving away my stuff, packing, saying goodbye, having a goodbye party, etc. At least there is a plan!
In the spirit of finishing things, I just finished the 5th book of the Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones) and I don’t know where I got the idea that it was the last book of the series but it totally is not. I’m pleased not to have to abandon the universe, but still kind of wanted to finish up and move on, kind of in parallel with the rest of my life. Guess I’ll just have to go back and watch the rest of the HBO series so I don’t forget who’s who.
And now for something completely different. This past week I made a trip to Lima for various work-related purposes (although no one in Sicchez believes I wasn’t on vacation), so I was in Piura for a few days last weekend and this past Sunday. Both of those times I made trips to the market, once to help some other people find clothes and shoes, and the other time to get my usual vegetables and fruits, and also some shoes (my grandma shoes finally got too stinky to tolerate) and yarn for my host mom to crochet me a poncho. It was really fun to go with other people for once – it’s been a long time since I’ve convinced anyone else to join me – not only because I finally had a reason to share my extensive knowledge of the market, but also because I didn’t feel so nervous like I do when I’m alone. Usually my rule is to get what I came for and keep moving so that I’m harder to follow and rob, but with a group I felt like I could stop and actually browse the clothes and shoes and stuff for a while. Still most of it didn’t fit us, but at least we could try it on! My November trip to Piura will probably be my last hurrah in the Piura market – then it will be time to find a place to satisfy my marketing needs in Lima.
I got stuck in Piura today because I booked a ticket on a bus that didn’t actually leave for Sicchez. Why they didn’t tell me I was going to be the only person on it I don’t know. But on the bright side I got some pictures printed and some work done that I otherwise wouldn’t have finished. And I just went to see a Peruvian movie El Evangelio de la Carne (The Gospel of the Flesh). It was really dark – I feel like I lost a lot of faith in humanity after watching it. It was one of those movies like Crash where there are several stories happening simultaneously that all come together at the end – a police officer trying to save his wife from an unidentified disease, a barra brava member (like a gang of violent soccer fans) trying to get his little brother out of jail before he turns 18, and a counterfeiter with a dark past who wants to join the Brotherhood of el Señor de los Milagros. Despite the dark and depressing nature of the story, I was really glad and kind of proud to see such a distinctly Peruvian movie that actually had good acting, was well produced, and didn’t paint some semi-utopian picture of life in Lima to minimalize the issues people actually face there (like what you usually see on TV). But, for the sake of everyone that lives in Lima, I hope the extent of the adversity the characters were facing is far from typical. They were into so many criminal activities I don’t know if I can remember all of them!
Tomorrow it’s back to Sicchez for the last 3.5 weeks. I still can’t believe these two years are coming to an end!