Tamshiyacu & the other random things I wanna tell you about today

Saludos from Lima!

 Last week, our professor was here (in Iquitos) to check in on the lab and meet with everyone. As most of you know, I had some grievances to air which was nice to get over with and to get help with some things I'd been kind of forbidden to work with in the lab prior.  He lived in Iquitos for a super long time, so it was also a good opportunity to ask questions about different problems and places, and get advice on things to do. 

img_8630 The Amazon River

 Over the weekend, Julia, Esther (a Gringa living in Lima), Pablo, and I tagged along with our office Mama and her daughter to visit the jungle.  We went out in a speed boat, which took about an hour once we left, but we had to sit and wait for it to fill which took over an hour additionally.


 We had no idea what the place would be like, but I was king of expecting to be like a camp site.  Turns out, Tamshiyacu is a whole small town operating out in the Amazon! It was really nice, tranquil, quite, and so much cleaner than Iquitos.  We loved it!


After arriving Saturday afternoon, we walked to a lake to go swimming.  The water was freezing which was really nice. My favorite times outside are when I'm walking around in the jungle, yet NOT sweating profusely, which has maybe never happened before this weekend. There was a nice breeze in the town which cooled it down more than normal, and walking around in wet clothes from the cold lake kept me cool for a while. 

 We ate pollo a la brasa with french fries and chaufa for dinner.  I'm not sure if I've mentioned here that I started eating meat, but I started eating meat.  After TEN years of vegetarianism, it was too hard for me to stay healthy here without adding chicken and pork into my diet, especially considering the fact that people will just hand you food and you really have to eat it when that happens.  Chaufa is a staple food here; its chinese-peruvian fried rice.  I really like chaufa! But sometimes I pick around bigger chunks of unidentified meats. 

 We were all exhausted Saturday night and went to bed at like 8:30 pm. But, first our professor was very adamant about us sleeping with mosquitos nets. We ventured out to a carpenter to buy wooden sticks to tie to the sides of our beds and hang the mosquito nets from... it was a serious endeavour. But, I slept with the net and didn't get any bites.. so. 

 Sunday morning we wandered around and ate egg sandwiches and coffee for breakfast, before returning to the port to catch a speedboat back to the city.  Back in the city at lunchtime, the gringos went to get Chifa for lunch at one of our prof's favorite restaurants. Chifa = chinese peruvian food.  It was delicious and Julia and I brought home the leftovers for Monday's lunch.  We really need to eat Chifa way more often. 

 Thanks to my prof finally coming through for me, I finally got to use a piece of equipment on Monday that I've been trying to get trained on since June! 

 Then, on Tuesday, we finally set up the composting experimental bins we've been talking about since June! Yay for all our achievements this week!!


 I'm now spending a lot more time with my co-workers at INFANT, which is great for me.  Everyone over at that NGO is super nice and sweet to me! They all really genuinely care about their work and are a huge support to the community members. I'm going out into the field with them about 3-4 times a week now, instead of 1, in addition to my Saturday visits with Elvis to do activities with the kids.

This pupper made me so happy. He ran with our moto 1.5 km just to hangout with us cause his kids were next to me

 On Saturday during my morning visit with Pedro, I tried pure cane juice for the first time. It was good! This is one of the main things they sell in this community I'm working in.  Though drinking out of a bag proved more difficult than it looked.


 And then... I fell in love:


After ten minutes of petting her and talking in baby talk (as Leah hates so much), I realised she's covered in fleas :) :) :)


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