Friday, October 19, 2007


So three days ago the committee for the CAID held a parrillada to raise funds, we currently don’t have any money, and long story short, I had a good time, but we didn’t make any money.

The preparations started on Sunday when all the shopping was done. A parrillada, by the way, is a barbeque. But don’t think hamburgers and bbq sauce over chicken wings, think rice and potatoes (the traditional dish of Peru) and a big old slab of meat. On Monday night a big group of us got together to peel potatoes. We peeled two large bags of potatoes and set them in water to a wait the morning. The next day at 8:30am we started to set up and cook. At around 10 or 11 people started to show up. Now, what is a barbeque without beer, and if I haven’t explained the intricacies of drinking and alcoholism yet, let me interject…

In Peru there is a huge culture of alcoholism, but not in the sense that people realize they have a problem and head to AA or the Peruvian equivalent. No, it’s extremely common to find a group of men standing around in a circle on the street passing a large 40 oz bottle and a little plastic cup. This is known as “paso el vaso.” Did I mention this could happen at any time of day, even in the early morning? So by mid-afternoon or mid-day it’s not uncommon to find some very drunk men. This was the case at the parrillada.

At around 5:00pm the director of the secondary school and a local rancher (campesino) got into a fist fight right in front of me. They were both totally wasted, so the fight was rather humorous, but it was the first time I really saw the toll that “paso el vaso” could have on the community. I don’t drink in Catilluc because one of my good friends is the local Evangelical pastor’s wife, and according to her, Evangelical Christians don’t drink. So I don’t drink here, not that I’m much of a drinker to begin with, or truly an Evangelical, however, it’s culturally important to participate in this activity. So I’m between a rock and a hard place in Catilluc, and yet, I feel like my decision to not drink here has been a good one, especially considering the fight.

At the end of the day the committee gathered and realized that not enough people had attended to make any money. Our costs were too great and our income too little. So, all that work, and we still have a cash flow problem. I have pictures, but can't get them to upload. I'll try again tomorrow. Take care all. Cuidate.

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