Over the mountains and far away

August 18, 2008

It’s a cloudy, cool, and breezy day in Batan Grande, Peru.  We’re officially taking a one-week hiatus from fieldwork.  To get out to the pampa, where we are working, we have to pass through land claimed by two different groups of squatters.  The president of the first group, on whose land we only drive through, apparently has taken it upon himself to give us the hardest possible time, and it is now unsafe for us to pass through this land because of some patently false rumours that have started.  So, with two days left to go, we’re sitting in the house and catching up on notes.  Looks like I won’t make it back out into the field before we leave for Lima tomorrow evening.

Last Thursday, the water was turned off.  The rumour around town is that it will be off for 10 days total.  Normally I don’t mind showering with frigid water from a bucket in a bathroom infested by cockroaches, scorpions, and crickets…well, I don’t mind it for a few days at least.  But, last night I had a dream about swimming in a pool.  This morning I woke up and in my foggy stupor I grabbed my towel and headed for the bathroom to take a shower, absolutely convinced that I could have a hot shower.  I think this is early stage water dementia.

Aside from my growing preoccupation with water, and the fact that my voice seems to have risen an octave from pouring ice-cold water down my back each morning, there’s little to report here from Peru.  I’m mostly packed because my two co-workers are using the two laptops, meaning I can’t work on notes this morning.

I’m still stumped as to what kind of gift i can get for my father.  Something tells me that I should shy away from the replica Moche ceramics with the scenes of copulating couples or horribly exaggerated genitalia.  Though it would make a nice conversation piece, I don’t think he’d appreciate having a smiling Andean man pleasuring himself on his desk at the office.


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