January 12, 2013 by jiejie768
Hello again from Peru. Meg and I have been pretty busy traveling, entertaining company and, this last week, getting back into the swing of things at school. Thus, it has taken us longer than expected to update you, dear reader, on our Christmas/New Year’s adventures. But no more. What follows will be multiple blog posts detailing the time we spent with Meg’s family and the Collins family in Ayacucho over Christmas and then over the next week and a half in Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Ica and Lima. Without further ado:
Day 2, Part 2: Returning from the Campo (December 23, 2012)
Our last lengthy blog post detailed our second day of Christmas giving in the countryside around Ayacucho. It was, without question, an unqualified success and offered a stark and necessary contrast to the disasters of Day 1 (also to clarify in case my writing made it unclear, any exasperation expressed toward our driver Alejandro over his river-bound misadventures was purely good-natured. Both Meg and I love Alejandro and the myriad things he does for us. Our trip would be much harder, and significantly less enjoyable without him around to help us out).
As mentioned in the previous post, a few members of Meg’s family joined us for the trip to the campo on Sunday (Dec. 23) and came back having enjoyed their time. Most of us were pretty exhausted by the end of it though, and Ty and Tom (Dad), specifically, just wanted to sit back and watch the Seahawks/49ers game on the Internet. The rest of the family along with clan Collins, however, had rested up and explored Ayacucho that day and were eager to catch up over dinner at ViaVia, one of Meg’s and my favorite restaurants in town. As we had spent most of the day with Ty, Tom and Lolo, Meg and I jumped at the chance to catch up with Pam (Mom), Dan, and Bill and Katie Collins (Kathy — Bill’s wife, Katie’s mom — also stayed at the house). Lolo, ever up for the next adventure, also joined us for dinner.
Dan, Meg’s little brother and the resident foodie, was particularly excited by the chance to try alpaca. I had seen it on the menu before, but was never brave enough to gamble a whole dinner on whether I would like it. Dan, having no such fears, ordered away and was even kind enough to give me a taste. My nerves proved unfounded as it basically tasted like a slightly tougher version of the beef you’d get at a teriyaki joint (though with a different sauce). I will most likely be ordering a whole plate for myself the next time Meg and I can afford to eat out.
The meal and company were great, but I must admit, though it was fun to hang out and chat, my mind was frequently drifting back to the football game that Tom and Ty were watching. I was privately kicking myself for missing a long-awaited opportunity to watch a game with real-life football fans. In the end, however, I got the best of both worlds as dinner went fairly quickly, and I was able to make it back to the house for the second half.
I know not everyone will understand this, but it’s hard to express just how happy I was to crack a beer, hand one each to Bill and Ty, and just watch football with a bunch of guys (see photo above). I have missed that particular experience about as much as anything during my time here. That’s not to say I don’t miss my family and friends, but the miracles of Skype and the Internet have allowed me the chance to talk to them as much or more than I would during a regular year in the States. Beer and football, however, does not work quite as over the Web.
After the game, a thoroughly enjoyable Seahawks romp, we all got ready for bed while Ty was wondering exactly how his phone conversation with his girlfriend, a HUGE 49ers fan, would go.
The lone downside to a wonderful day came when Lolo exacerbated her sunburn when she attempted to treat it with her eczema medicine. The alcohol in the medicine enflamed the burn and left her with an unsightly and painful blister on her cheeks. Lolo did her best to manage through the (physical and psychological) pain, but she was understandably upset about it for the next few days. We were all, Lolo especially, thrilled when it cleared up (thanks, pharmacists in Cusco) and she once again became her energetic and joyful self.
Our Christmas Eve adventures were so numerous it took three posts to tell the whole tale, click the following links to read about it:
Christmas Eve, Part I: Acquiring (most of) the Food
Christmas Eve, Part II: The KATC Christmas Party
Christmas Eve, Part III: Mass, Socks and Fireworks (Oh My!)