Peru or Bust, one couple's journey to represent USA abroad and aid in ways small and large.

If you are bored with this site, it's not my fault.

Archive for July 2014

Hidden Sand Mine and Quick Cottage Water Supply..

leave a comment »

About a 40min walk up off the highway to Mendoza lives a down to earth family from Cajamarca who live without electricity, are not part of the waste-water system, put down big potato-rich meals, tapped into their own property water source, raise some of the largest ‘Flevish’ or Fleckvieh cows that I’ve seen, and are happy as ever.  I’ve been visiting this family since getting to the area and now that I’m tasked with putting an improved cook-stove in there cottage house, I’ve been there even more.

Written by galbavy

July 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Animals, Water System

Tagged with

Safe water session with moms and kids..

with one comment

Big thanks to Andrea for setting up and organizing the session in Huascazala back during the 1st Saturday of this month.  4 moms showed up and more then enough kids to fill to capacity the play-pens at McDonald’s.  Andrea presented good information on home hygiene tracking, then opened the floor to yours-truly.  I had a bit of statistics to present about the water quality in our district, but was real anxious to get to our activity.  What I had for the ladies was a taste test between different types of treated and untreated water from Molinopampa.  Without knowing what they were consuming, I had them rate the taste of these 4 types of water:

-Tap water treated by boiling and cooling
-Tap water treated with a couple drops of bleach
-Tap water untreated
-Bottled water (San Carlos)

And as expected the bottled water was most favorable and actually the raw tap water and bleach water got pretty high marks.  The boiled water was most unliked but maybe that was because the bottle I transported it in might not have been extremely clean.  Nonetheless, none of the moms fortunately got sick after the experiment and hopefully learned something.  Andrea and I had a nice time.

Written by galbavy

July 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Water System

Tagged with

We Love You Grandma Galbavy, You Will Be Missed..

with 6 comments

Time goes by soo quickly while living and working here in the Peace Corps, you start to forget that the world changes back on the homefront.  You kinda think that things will be about the same when you return from your 2 year service; but in all reality, such is not the case.  New family members are born, friends and family move or get new jobs, and loved ones pass on.  Grandma Mary Galbavy lived a full and fruitful life in Slovakia, then New York City, then ultimately in Pensacola Florida, and died early Thursday morning.  The nurse mentioned that she started to sit up, then just laid back down and went back to sleep peacefully, and I’m happy knowing that she’s at peace now looking down on all of us.  She will be greatly missed but never forgotten.. love you.  Really did enjoy your final birthday party, as well as all the other times we got to get together throughout the years.

Written by galbavy

July 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

Posted in USA

Tagged with ,

Why did the worm cross the road..

with one comment

Could be to get to the other side, but most likely because ton of his or her worm buddies are climbing on top of each other to get to the front of the pack.  In other words, it’s one big super worm made up of the smaller worms.

It's like black Friday, climbing on the backs of one another to get to the front.

It’s like black Friday, climbing on the backs of one another to get to the front.

And here is a 5 second video..

Which is all this deserves.. but speaking of things that look like worms, might I present to you a tasty sweet potato like variety.  It’s called Oca and it’s probably my favorite tuber.  Grows up at higher altitudes (over about 3000m) and especially in a bit colder weather.  Tastes like a creamer, smooth potato with hints of carrot and sweet potato.

Don't fear the oca, just pop one in your mouth.

Don’t fear the oca, just pop one in your mouth.

 

 

Written by galbavy

July 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Posted in Animals

Tagged with

Same Festivals, Different Years..

leave a comment »

Feast of San Pedro (St. Peter) in Taulia was just as nice and traditional as ever. With the shell-ankle dancers, band, plenty of food and shots of sugar cane liquor.

Plus, like last year (HERE) the same folks were over-doing it and resting on there way down the mountain.

Written by galbavy

July 13, 2014 at 12:17 am

Posted in Cultural Adjustment

Tagged with ,

Andrea and I Have a Child..

leave a comment »

A God-Son that is..  And we’re very happy to be an important part of Jheik (‘Jake’) Paul Carrion Pilco’s spiritual upbringing.  Jheik had his baptism last month and we’d been prepping for the event long before that.  Small, quaint mass and nice dinner reception afterwords.  It’s all your looking for in a baptism.

Written by galbavy

July 6, 2014 at 11:36 am

Posted in Kids

Tagged with

Cockfighting is alive and well in Peru..

with one comment

Yet the losers of some of the matches seen definitely are not. Surprisingly though, many of the bouts end in tie, with both sides taken away to see another day and probably another bout. Here’s how it works from what I’ve seen and the folks I’ve talked to:

1. Folks wanting to compete bring there cocks under their arms to the event or in a special transport case, ‘coliseums’ are nothing more then a 12-ft diameter circular knee high cement wall surrounded by 3 or 4 layers of really quickly constructed seating that might come down at anytime. Really enjoy the locations of the events, sometimes in a privately closed off patio, sometimes an old garage; last month I went to the bouts on the 3rd floor or an unfinished set of cement housing units.

2. Like many Peruvian events there is quite a bit of delay getting things going and time to share a beer with neighbors. The competitors have a small lease around the foot of their rooster so that they can put them on the ring floor (made up of a thin layer of sand) to get used to the surface and see the size of all the cocks in comparison to one another. They also weigh the animals because they always want to pit two roosters against one another that are equal stature and weight.

3. The judge gives a bit of opening words and explains the rules. Each fight will only last 6 minutes (in other events, it might last 8 or 10 minutes), and if one animal goes down in under a minute, the winning bird is crowned ‘pollón’ (or grand chicken) of the night and the owner wins a big money prize (in our case it was S/. 1000, or about $350). If both bird are still bouncing around after the 6 minutes, the event is a tie and both birds are retrieved while all money waged is given back to those who bet. Betting usually does not go through a bookie but it’s just straight-up among people in the crowd. A 3rd party (known by both betters) may hold the money bet while the match happens.

4. The judge is approached by the two people interested in fighting and reviews the weights and heights of birds. He gives the okay and owners attach w electrical tape the ‘points’ to the back of each of the roosters legs. These points are mainly a very hard plastic barb about 1 inch long (and a tad thicker then spaghetti) and sharped at the tip. Sometimes they are made out of fiberglass and sometimes they have a metal inner core to reinforce.

5. The roosters naturally want to fight an unknown animal (apparently) and when the 2 birds are quickly brought to the ring with the judge behind them, then gathered crowd goes wild. The owners lift up their respective birds and rub their beaks to one another to kind of piss off the animals. They are dropped at opposing sides of the coliseum ring and typically go straight towards each other. They’ll jump to use their points, they’ll stretch their necks to use their beaks and go after the back of the neck of the other. They are really pretty fast and you need to pay attention to catch the action. Typically there is not too much blood and actually typically the bouts results in ties w each side looking forward to fight another fight (some say they make soup out of birds that might loose, but the pigs around here need to eat alot and I can see them tossing dead bird parts there too).

Sampling of the bout and crowd:

Written by galbavy

July 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

Posted in Animals

Tagged with