20 July 2011

Early in the afternoon, the state police showed up at our gate.  Doug met them at the gate and brought them up to the house as his spanish wasn’t strong enough to understand them.  It turns out their boss, who is the chief of police for this area in the north of Peru, is planning to come for vacation with his family next week and they wanted to rent one of the bungalows.  This week is  a huge week for vacations here as it is the equivalent of the 4th of July for us in the states.  They told us there were no rooms available in Los Organos and very few in Mancora.  Doug and I never had intentions of renting out the bungalows, but we both felt this was an opportunity to make friends with some important people.  We agreed to have his family stay here for the three days of their vacation without cost.

Koki and his family will also be here, so it will be an interesting weekend!  It will a full house…what fun!  Having friends and family come and fill the bungalows was always our hope.

I have now completed a level in my spanish classes and will move on to the next intermediate level in the next lesson.  Gaby, my instructor, makes classes so much fun.  They are definitely geared toward conversation and practical use.  Today’s lesson was on the future tense.   We talked about what our world would look like in twenty years.  One of the questions was whether life would be better in twenty years than it is now.  My answer was that I thought people in “rich” countries would  have a better life, but people in “poor” countries would probably have a life that is more difficult than today’s.

Gaby described society in Perú using a triangle.  A very small portion at the top of the triangle represented the wealthy.  A much larger portion across the bottom represented the poor, the laborers, those that did the work that supported the wealthy.  There was a gap between the two social levels which would represent the middle class, but Gaby felt the middle class in Perú has been annihialated.  Perú is famous for their potatoes, mangos, asparagus, bananas and rice.  Most of these products, however, are exported.  The best of these products are exported, and what is available locally are the lesser quality fruits and vegetables.  The government says the money they earn from the exports will be used to improve the lives of everyday Peruvians.  Gaby got onto her soapbox and told me how corrupt the government was and how all the windfall from the exports never made it anywhere other than into the pockets of the politicians.

Another question we discussed was whether there would be universal language.  My answer was that I thought more people would be learning more than just one language, and therefore, would be able to communicate with more people.  The availability of translation programs on the internet also would make the language issue less important.  I know Doug uses Google translator when he communicates with our spanish speaking friends on Facebook which works fairly well.   Milagros, our pharmacy friend, also uses Google translator to talk with Doug in English.

Other questions?….live in space?…..scientific bases on Mars?…..what will your life be like in 20 years? ….will you still live in the same place?…..will you be married or single or widowed?  I’d love to hear your thoughts…..it was a great lesson.

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5 Comments

  1. I hope that we can come fill your bungalows someday!!! Hopefully I will be doing the same thing in 20 years that I am doing now. Staying home to be with my wonderful children (hopefully the older ones will be successfully enrolled in college or on a mission) and married to my wonderful husband who has a great job to support us! Only time will tell!

  2. Hi Karen, so glad you are doing this blog again.
    Karen, I sure hope you know what you are doing by letting in the chief of police to stay at your house. It will only open the door to more later. More what? you might think…..the can of worms will only get larger. Stuff for the office or for the officers who work. Money for one thing or another. People n’ friends of the chief. It will not stop. Peru is a country of bribes n’ you have just started something. I hope the best for you, but I am also fearful too. Let’s hope I am WRONG.
    Glad to hear your Spanish is coming along. And here I thought you were really good at speaking before. Now you must be almost fluent.
    Big hugs, Cheers!

  3. I, too, worry about the impending visit…particularly the free part. I hope it doesn’t open doors to more and more and more expectations from you. If you do it right, you can make it clear that this is a one time thing…unless of course you become good friends with them. That would be the best of both worlds.

    As the the future…well, everything for us is wrapped around our girls. I would be 83, Payton would be 26 and Ava would be 23. I would hope both girls are through college and into their careers. Payton could be married…and I could even be a great grandma…now that is scary!!! Hopefully our kids would be successfully settled in careers and family life. Following in our parents’ footsteps, our health would be good yet. We would probably be still living where we are but possibly contemplating a move into a facility like Mom’s where we wouldn’t have the care of our yard, would have lots of activities to indulge in, and lots of friends around. To be honest, life hasn’t changed a lot in the last 20 years except for the adding on of our family through spouses and grandkids. Our careers have scaled back but we are both still involved in them, our home is the same – we have just traded the in and out of our children for the in and out of our grandchildren!

    I don’t see life in space – particularly as they are pulling back on the space program and it takes many, many years to prepare for something as huge as living in space. Maybe in 50 years, but not 20. I think our methods of travel will change the most as we look for more fuel efficiency and greener sustainable living. I think the opulent houses of today will become a thing of the past. People will look for personal satisfaction – in family time, travel, hopefully not total time investments in careers. Technology will continue to be huge…even though things will become much smaller. Yes, all cell phones will be able to video chat…so I’ll be seeing you!!!! Chad and Layla can do that now, and Ava thinks all phones should be able to have the same function.

    As for Peru, when I was there (shhhhh) 40 years ago (that sounds awful…40 years!) there was a “revolution” going on for the poor people. Because I was with the agriculture department, I spend a lot of time in rural areas. The extension people were working hard with the rural poor. There were many rallies and marches for the men and classes and support for the women. I remember they were introducing soy milk as an alternative. It was the first time I had ever heard of it. Interesting that Peru has seemingly regressed in the last 40 years…but then, some could say that about the US, too.

    Interesting conversation you had….Gaby sounds like a friend to be cherished. Hmmm, think you might have gotten more than you were intending from my response….you know me!!!! Love ya…hope your “official visit” goes well. We worry from afar because we care.

    1. Actually, I loved having a long response from you. Gaby and I do have great discussions. It’s part of the Spanish language class I am taking from her; much of it is centered around conversation. This is so perfect for me, as this one of the pieces I lack confidence in. She also plays a lot of audio for me so I am getting better at understanding what people who speak a million words per second are saying. I’ll post on the blog about the policeman and his family. It all turned out quite well. Sure do miss you and some of our talks. Karen

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