Saturday, June 5, 2010
Photo: Zapote, the Mayo River
Here´s a little entry from my field journal:
5-26-10 Yantalo- Soritor
I think gringos are bad luck.
Today we went with the students from the colegio and some of the professors to Soritor for their soccer games. Our 10 year-olds lost the first soccer game, but we missed the first half because we were using internet and thought the game wasn't supposed to start until later on. It was raining hard by the time they finished and we sat down on the steps to wait for the start of the volleyball game. After the net was set up it looked like they would wait a while until the rain cleared up, but there were a few girls playing volleyball on the court. I took of my shoes and went to play with them. A couple minutes later Starla came to play with us as well. We had a good game going and we had about 12 kids playing with us until we had to leave for lunch.
Jenny ran into a mute crazy man in the restaurant. It is interesting that here in this part of Peru, the people tend to just leave crazy people to themselves. The person may be walking up and down the street for hours on end, babbling about something that no one understands, but people don't seem to care. There is a man like that in Yantalo who just walks up and down the street everyday, talking to himself. As he walks past the police station and the governor's house they may watch him for a couple minutes, but usually just leave him alone. Well, in Soritor, the man who came up to Jenny kissed her on the cheek, then started touching her hair and kissed her on the cheek again while she was eating lunch. He then started making hand-motions to communicate something to her, but I don't know what he meant. I stepped between them and told him to leave my girlfriend alone. He didn't seem to understand because he started hugging me. As I gently pushed him away he finally walked away from the table.
At the stadium for the afternoon games we watched the 12 year-olds finish with a score of 1-1. There were a group of girls hitting a volleyball around and I joined them like always. I enjoy communicating through sports because sometimes I think I can tell people a lot about my personality by playing with them without needing to talk. I feel like it is often more fun and more effective. We played for about an hour while we waited for the next team to play from Yantalo.
After we sat down to rest we were bombarded with questions from all these young kids we'd played with. Their favorite game was “Say _______ in English.” “Sing in English.” “Dance in English” etc. I have to admit, it was fun to be the object of attention for this group of kids. We took pictures with them and talked with them while Yantalo was soundly beaten by the Colegio Alfredo Tejada.
Maybe it was because we were Yantalo's bad luck charm, or maybe it was because I'd kept 15 kids captivated for an hour while I sang everything from the National Anthem to Billy Jean, but I left feeling like we were heroes for the kids in Soritor.