Roadside diners, the places where my busses stop and have us all get off for a quick and dirty menú, have become one of my favorite things. I don't know why. They are gross and awesome. They are like the fast food of Peru. I have two: one on the way to Chiclayo, that is just a little joint by the orange bridge, and one on the way to Chota, that is in the plaza of the little town of Chancay Baños.
You get there and you have just a couple of options - maybe pollo guisado, carne guisado, arroz con pollo, and sopa de res - and you are like, "Man, those have to be the four least appetizing Peruvian dishes. Guess I'll get the arroz con pollo, again, because at least it's not completely buried in grease." Then you dig in with a spoon and your fingers, trying to find the meat lost in the rice and you get covered in grease anyways and you pour on the ají, even though it looks like you may lose your intenstinal wall later from it, and it burns til you are crying and they bring you a nasty, nasty chicha morada to wash it down and all you have to clean up with are these little strips of glossy and completely unabsorbant recycled paper. And when you get back on the bus, all you can do is pass out.
God, it's great.
I just finished vacation. Went to Máncora, which may be the playground of the Devil himself. I don't really have a whole lot to say about it except if you've never been to Spring Break Cancún, friends and neighbors, you can probably just go to New Year's Eve Máncora and you've done it all. It's complete wall to wall youthful insanity. It was a great time. I will absolutely never go again.
Things in site may actually go well now that I have just given in and started giving these people what they want (instead of what they need.) I have agreed to teach almost constant English classes for the duration of rainy season and I busted out the money bags. I told them I can help them start finding international grant money for whatever project they can come up with. The deal is they have to sit with me daily for a couple of weeks first learning to write a good project proposal, sustainability plan, and budget.
They like this idea. So, I will be teaching Project Design and Management courses to groups of four to five people pretty much daily. Then I will help them apply for international grants. The Muni wants to go big. They want to deign a project to build a water system and a trash disposal system for the entire town and apply to Engineers Without Borders. Holy shit. If we could get that done - I would be pleased enough with my service.
I am liking life. Though even through the busy fog, I miss home more than ever these days. Just over 6 more months, people!