Thursday, February 18, 2010

Peru Day 13: Llamas at the clinic and the misleading lure of live music

We usually take the kids for walks around the clinic grounds, but I have to admit that I don't take them as far as they usually want to go. There are a lot of kids who want walks but I can only take one or two of them at a time. Today there were more volunteers than usual, so the walks were longer. I followed another volunteer with some kids along a path around the back of one of buildings and, low and behold, there were THREE LLAMAS back there! I was as excited as the kids. The llamas were tied up but were able to get pretty close to us. And naturally, these kids have no fear. Hands out, ready to pet those stinky sniffing noses, I pulled my kids away before the animals took a finger with the grass they were being offered. Still pretty cool -- and completely unexpected.

I also had success with one of the girls during lunch. Flor does not like to eat. She just wants to drink juice. For the past couple of days I was unable to get her to eat with me and one of the nurses had to step in and feed her. Today I went for the bribe approach --two bites of food got her one sip of juice. Success! I can't believe it took me three days to figure that out.

Spanish class was frustrating. Past tense is my weak spot and it seemed like Jorgan was correcting me more than I was speaking. Not fun, but necessary (I guess).

I ran into Elmer as I was heading to a cafe after class and he walked me halfway and promised to return in a couple of hours after his gig was over. I told him to meet me at The Muse, an overpriced but comfortable spot to hang out, read and write. There was a group of older American tourists hanging out there and I was surprised by how discomforting it was to hear American English -- I'm starting to think a little in Spanish and after almost two weeks here I hardly think of myself as a tourist. Sure, I look different than most of the people around me, but I always thought I did at home, too. I feel at home here.

If I hadn't been waiting for Elmer, I would have left as soon as the advertised "live music" started. Don't be lured by the promise of live music -- I'm the person who cringes when a singer or an instrument is flat or sharp -- and let's just say that my face looked disfigured by the time Elmer showed up. The words "mangled" and "Hotel California" should never be in the same sentence together.

When he arrived, we hung out at the cafe a little longer and then walked down to the square where a took a taxi home. I think he was a little disappointed that I didn't want to stay out longer, but I have my eyes set on the prize: Mike arrives in Peru on Sunday!    

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