Monday, January 7, 2013

Largesse from the USA or They Stole my Goldfish

I got a package from my parents, full of Christmas presents. It came just after New Year’s. It probably took a while to get here because it was stopped by the postal police in Lima. They opened it and checked a few packages, then sent it on to the post office in Jauja. After several pages of paperwork, the Jauja office released it to me. I brought it home and opened it in my room. Lots of packages, a little Christmas tree with ornaments, and some new window clings for my collection. It was very exciting!!!
I set up the tree and arranged the packages around it, so I could savor the anticipation.

We admired them from the courtyard, too.

The next day, I succeeded in both finding a connection stable enough for Skype and reaching my parents at home in the USA. In the internet café, I opened my whole pile of presents while on Skype. It was a lot of fun to talk with my parents about each present and thank them for their thoughtfulness. We were on for an hour. The teenagers playing games on the other computers kept giving me quizzical looks as the wrapping paper piled up around my feet.

When we finished, my mother said there was one package missing: a container of goldfish crackers. It seems that the postal inspector helped him or herself to my goldfish. Everything else came through fine. My father said we could think of it as a small tax. Still, this incident has left me craving goldfish crackers. I like the Parmesan ones the best, but they all dance before my eyes: original, cheddar, pretzel…

But to refocus on the positive, I got a whole bunch of other snacks, including candy and dried apricots. Yum! And the softest, warmest set of fleece pajamas I’ve ever had.

I won’t mention everything, but it was definitely largesse, and left me feeling very loved.

Thanks Mom and Dad!

footnote* By the way, in the background of that picture is my "comfort wall". There are a bunch of photos I brought here with me, plus all the cards and letters and pictures that people have sent me. Want to be on my wall in Peru? Send me mail! Packages are ridiculously expensive, but a card, with maybe a photo or inspirational quote or cartoon tucked inside, really makes my day. Mail to Peru costs $1.05. My address is:
Alane Brown
Correo Central Jauja
Apartado 126
Jauja, Junin, PERU

p.s. After I wrote this, I experienced another theft. I was walking through the market on market day, going to meet my host mom for lunch (she has a stall in the market selling grains). I was wearing my backpack on my back. Now, Peace Corps and my host family both had warned me to carry my pack in front in crowded places. But I wasn't thinking about that, just about being hungry. When I got to the stall, one of the zippers on my pack was open, and when I checked, I discovered that my ball cap was missing. So sad! It had one of my Peace Corps patches on it--I'd been wearing it a lot to help people identify who I'm here with.
Thinking back, I realized that someone had bumped into me as I hurried through the marketplace. That's the strategy--one thief bumps you and when you look around, the other relieves you of your valuables. Still, I figure I got off really easy. They could have gotten my camera, but instead someone in Peru is walking around in a "Cuerpo de Paz" hat. I guess it's a tax on stupidity. Now I'll be a lot more careful! I have another patch and I can buy another cap for 5 soles. Life goes on.

No comments:

Post a Comment