The content of this webpage, and everything associated with this webpage, is independent of the Peace Corps and the United States Government, though I think they should read it too. This blog solely reflects the experiences and observations of Jake DeBerry.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Website and other stuff

I recently put the website for the artisan association on the web. There are a few problems right now because of the Spanish tilde (the accent mark). Every word that has a tilde creates a different symbol. I’ll be fixing that soon, but I’m booked up for the next couple weeks so it won't be fixed until then. The website is: www.joyasdebarro.com. It’s nothing complex because the artisans will have to upkeep it once I’m gone, so I tried to make it as simple as possible. Plus, the idea of the website is to attract visitors to Tarica (where we live), and that's it. Unfortunately, the artisans are not ready to be taking orders through the web, so that service is not there. They still screw up orders that are made by people nearby. Things like quality control, timing, etc, still don't seem to matter much after close to two years of Peruvian consultants and me trying to instill them. Unfortunately, I can't make the products for them.

Other interesting happenings of late:
- One volunteer that lives in the same department recently coughed up a worm, which means that he has a lot of them residing within his body…once again, proving our bodies are like science experiments while living here.

- Another volunteer in my area was told that unicorns actually do exist.

- A taxi driver told me that swine flu was sent by God (I'm sure there are plenty of people in the US that believe that also – kinda like Pat Robertson saying hurricane Katrina was sent by God to punish us). Because of the swine flu hysteria, the US Govt mandated that all Peace Corps volunteers get the medicine just in case. We also got issued face masks.

- Someone told me that sex is a lot better when there is a full moon. I could probably write a few pages of all the ridiculous things I've been told by the men here about sex.

-Another Jehovah's Witness stopped by my door today. This is the 3rd or 4th one. The last one told me the bible is literal word of god because it says so in the bible.

- One of the cafés in town is having a Bob Dylan birthday bash with live music – and I’ll be performing a song! I’ll be performing “Masters of War”. Let’s hope I don’t embarrass myself too much.

- Someone called me Senor Gringo the other day. I think I've mentioned this before, but in this culture, people call you what you look like if they don't know your name. If you're fat, they call you "fat" – and it's not meant as an insult. Similar to other poor countries, if you're fat, it's a sign that you're also rich. The old lady next door often calls me, "Kalla Pecta", which is Quechua for baldy.

- A different volunteer was talking to someone about fishing in a nearby lake – and the person said the easiest way to catch fish is to just poor bleach into the lake…then the fishes just float up! That means that they are eating fish killed with bleach and eventually, killing most, if not all forms of life within that lake.

-We recently had a meeting for the volunteers in Ancash, so we hiked up to a lake to have the meeting. It's not an easy hike if you're not in shape or not acclimatized to the altitude, but everyone made it in one piece…and then 10 out of the 13 skinny dipped in the lake! That's me, grabbing the bull by the horns.
Much love, Jake

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