06 julio 2006

"Deja huellas, un lugar..." -A. Trujillo

Dear Mom,

Well, I have good news for you, and then I have the opposite of good news. The good news is that, after much consideration, I have decided not to join the Peruvian Association for Self-actualized Socialist Expatriates (PAFSASE). I realize self-actualization is a process and won´t happen overnight. The bad news is that I accidentally deleted approximately 426 pictures from the digital camera. For future reference, "Format disk" REALLY means "erase disk," the makers just thought it would be funny to use technical wording on so delicate a subject.)

thought one: a profile
Rosalvina: watches futbopl with good humor if not passion. I can see her sons in her... or should i say "her in her sons." The amiability of Lenin, the bluntness (though cheerful-er) of Franklyn, the mellowness of Joél, the frequent laugh of Percy.... ahhhh, and of the daughter, "La Reynita?" the faithfulness, the ability to do what needs to be done simply because it needs to be done...

she tells me of selvaticos, those of the Selva (jungle), also known as charapas or montacos. "If you eat their food and work with them, they´ll love you. They speak straight to your face, they´re not hypocrites like serranos. ´Ai, paisano, it´s that you said such a thing to me and I´m not feeling it...´they´ll help themselves to your food, but they´ll share their lunch with you too. they´re good people..."

she tells me to keep on praying, not to lose faith. i listen, because she knows. she´s prayed and prayed and prayed... prayed so hard for her husband that he lost his coca farm, got a tumor, and fell from a papaya tree. but now he comes home at night. now he prays with her. so i listen.

we hear reggaeton (or chicha or something acursed) coming through walls courtesy of our neighbor. "Pobrecita, the neighbor," Franklyn says. "She works all week pushing her gelatina cart so she can waste her money on parties on the weekend."

"Ay, hijos," Rosalvina says, "you haven´t been praying enough for her..."

she tells me of her cousin´s son, 25 who "feel in love" with a girl a bit young for him, and then stormed off to get drunk when his mother confronted him about it. "Hmmm, what I´d do... I´d talk to him real sweet, hijito mio, then I´d give him su bueno palo..."

thought two: requoted, rethought, relearned

People are people. People:
1) are not boxes.
2) are not characters in a book.
3) are never ever expendable.

thought three: of visas and other such lios

When my brother was down here, he bought a book called El Misterio del Capital by Hernando de Soto, a famous Peruvian economist. According to his analysis, 3rd world countries are in the mess they are in because they make things too hard to do legally. Build a house, start a business, buying a car... everything requires excessive government meddling, reems of paperwork, and oceans of ink for signature and stamps. ...so better just to do one´s things illegally, or "informally" as it´s called.

Abel was renegando the other day. "Tomorrow, i´m going to go that office and I´m going to give that official a GOOD talk. What on earth is his problem?! He´s just supposed to register the house. It´s my house! How is it his business if I added another bathroom?! This is already the thirty-second trip, and still... uyy... I´m going to go... but with grace, walking in the spirit, calmly."

Lenin had to go to Lima the night before last. He sold a car last week, but something was wrong. He talked to the buyer, "it´s that the officials won´t give me the title..." What do you mean..? Lenin contacts Lima. "Ah, yes sir, our files show that you have a fine..." Ayy, how much...

"70 centimos, sir."

Are you kidding?! No, she´s not. So off he goes, 8 hours to Lima, misses his nephew/cousin´s birthday and comes back (another 8 hours) the following night.

So I´m not going to complain about the visa business, especially since it´s pretty much my fault.
See, it´s like this. A tourist visa is ninety days. My trip was planned for three months... from 3rd May to 3rd August. except there were 31 days in May, thirty blissful sunrises in June, and will be 31 more in July. the math comes out not in my favor. we´re supposed to talk to immigration and if there are no exceptions, the ticket must be changed. ehhh... I´m probably coming back the 1st, which is nice because it´s my sister´s birthday, but sad, well, because i´m coming back.

"Deja huellas, un lugar..." es cierto.