First posted 8th July 2008 on

Well it all seems to be going off in Peru – not that many people would notice. Firstly I managed to avoid the earthquake near Arequipa yesterday morning. Given our earthquake survival tips given on our induction day in Lima (“Stand under the door frame – or is that DON’T stand under the doorframe I forget, my English is not so good”) this is a good thing.

Also the whole of Peru is on strike today. Apart it seems from this internet cafe and the post (got a letter from my fiance that only took 12 days!) and the bloke who cycles through the streets with a cart full of fruit and a loadhailer shouting “Papaya”. Yesterday the Avenida del Sol was clogged up by an irate looking crowd, so Lisa and I decided to stop at the Inka Hut cafe, and get served pisco sour and chocolate by the lovely Luis who works there. Fortuitously Roxanna, the daughter of the couple who run our guesthouse passed by, so we got her a drink and she managed to explain (and me just about understand the Spanish) the reasons for that particular “meeting”, which was farmers from a province outside Cusco who were being bullied into selling their land cheap to the government. Incidentally their land is rich in minerals. Hmmmm – sounds like an episode of the Lone Ranger. Roxanna’s also invited us to the cinema tomorrow. If today’s strike isn’t still going on that is, as every day off seems to last 3 or 4 days here.

It’s a shame that we had Monday and today off school, as in the new school there are so many kids we only get to see each class once a week, which makes checking on progress pretty tough. Also the kids are so worked up that they can’t get down to working after all the disruptions. Yesterday’s year 5 primary class started promisingly as they remembered all the new verbs and phrases that the game we played last week introduced, but once we started a speaking exercise they all started chatting or rioting again. The little kids in first year primary were a little better, with the “One two three four five, once I saw a fish alive” song proving a hit, although 10 green bottles was probably a bit too complex for them at the end. I gave one of the teachers a picturial English dictionary and she was ludicrously grateful. Maybe she can use it to throw at unruly kids.

Lisa and I have been suffering from lurgy since being coughed on all the way home from Ollyantaytambo, so today Carole turned witch doctor and had us SNORTING warm salty water. Sounds disgusting but it really does clear you out. Mind you a nice dram of whisky would be nicer. Kill or cure. Also Beth the new volunteer girl hasn’t started volunteering yet cos she has a sore tum. The Wuss, a sore tum is one of the joys of travel!!! Mind you we have all of a sudden been contacted by the volunteer co-ordinator to check how we are (considering she hasn’t contacted Lisa at all since she started and spoke to me and Carole just before we left for Cusco, this is quite a coup!).

Feeling too grotty even for a Guatemala count, although slightly buoyed by the discovery of a cafe in town that does ACE curries (indonesian, thai or vietnamese style) and spicy soups AND has a Trivial Pursuits game there. Had fun coming back from a near certain trouncing by Lisa there yesterday due to a run of specifically UK based questions. Ha!