So i've been back in Lima for almost a week after my visit to my site for 2 years, Tomas. I have one more week in Lima and then there will be a tough goodbye with my family here before I head off to the tranquil mountain life for 2 years!
My mew town, Tomas, has about 500 people and it is high in the mountains and COLD. In the evenings the temp drops significantly, with occasional frost (during the winter, which is the U.S. summer). It especially feels cold becuase there is no heat in any building. My adobe room warms up a decent amount by the morning, but it is pretty cold to start with. My kitchen is a seperate little room, with wooden walls and a corrugated metal roof. It is smokey becuase we have a fire that we cook with, and we burn cow dung as our fuel. I'll work on something with my host dad to change that though, as it is kind of a health hazard. I do plan on buying a propane stove and cooking for myself a for atleast one meal a day, otherwise my diet will contain rice and potatoes, with the occasional egg or hot dog. I'm going to need some protein and vitamins, becuase i even lost weight during my 3 days in site.
My dad and mom are great, plus we have 2 dogs and a cat. My parents have a herd of 22 cows and 5 calves, with our pasture being a 2 hour walk up the mountain. I milked my first cow during my visit, and i drank what is probably the freshed milk of my life (after boiling it). My parents don't really like cats, but she keeps our patio and house rodent free. As it is spring here, the animals were displaying some instinctal tendencies. One of my dogs, named King Kong, actually tries to mate with my cat (which i named cat). Unfortunately, king kong has yet to be successful.
I'm going to be working largely with the Peruvian National Parks Service, which will include doing surveys of the wildlife (alpacas and llamas and vicuñas) by going camping on horseback and recording what i find. There is a LOT of work to be done in my site though. People throw garbage directly into our river, we only have Eucalyptus trees, which ruin soil quality and aren't native, and there is always plenty to be done with the schools and environmental education. People are excited to work with me (I think), which is really good. There are some unrealistic expectation of what i'll be doing by some of the locals, but that is better than thinking i'll do nothing and not wanting to work with me.
Our last week in Lima should be a fun one, with lots to do in terms of preparation for moving and Thanksgiving. I'm excited to move to Tomas even though i've thoroughly enjoyed my time in Lima. I do have internet in Tomas, but it isn´t the highest quality. I will do my best to stay in touch though, and i´ll let you all know what my new address is when i get my P.O. box. Thanks to those who've sent letters and e-mail.