Literally, Breaking News

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On the bus yesterday we went from point A to point B, riding for all of 6 hours from Lima to Huarmey, but really it was more than a matter of moving through space.  There was a change in landscape, going from a huge, sprawling city that seems delimited by nothing except its own endlessness to a much smaller, compact one situated in the dry coastal desert at the foothills of the Andes.  There was also a social shift, from the faster and more precarious life of an urban area plagued by all the problems that arise from mixing  incredible population density and economic inequality to a place still infused with the deliberate habits and attitudes of hard-working people not so far away from the isolated rural village (in some cases because they either recently migrated or never did and simply come to shop or visit family).

This morning Dimitrios, Maia and I did an interview with Jacinta, the mother of Javeth.  She has a stall in the local market, selling fruit, and of course she had heard about the leg.  But Jacinta has troubles of her own, some kind of eye ailment, maybe a cataract, and Maia had done the work of finding a free clinic in Lima that she needs.  For whatever reason, the hospital here is not a place that could help her access that care, even merely to tell her about its availability.  I mean, itís not that hard to get there.  Later in the morning, a few of us walked over, to check on the hospitalís communication radio, and I decided that would be as good as place as any to interview Sarah and Maia about their work on the leg, which we did.  Then we easily walked back to the church.

So thatís where we are now, at the parochia, a church in the middle of town, between the market and the main plaza.  Someone has turned a radio on and the packing for leaving for the mountains is happening to a salsa beat.  There are tools, rolls of cable, and all manner of other things on the floor, to be divided up between four different crews.  One will go to the Casma valley, another to the Huarmey valley, a third to the Culebras valley, and a fourth to an area somewhat between the Huarmey and Culebras valleys.  Dimitrios will be in the second, filming Kevin and Ricky working on their passive solar adobe house, and Iíll be in the last, following Steve and others taking batteries to certain villages still off the grid, possibly requiring a bit of hiking (if thatís how it goes, weíll carry our own packs and put the 100-lb batteries on mules).

Otherwise, the town is full of Sunday sounds, with so many people out sitting and talking, kids playing, and the ever-present sound of various mototaxi (three-wheeled motor bikes) and car horns.  Also, voting has been going on through the day, the country teetering on the edge of going left or right, selecting either Keiko Fujimori (daughter of the imprisoned, former dictator) or Ollanta Humala (son of a general famous for advocating indigenous empowerment).  Judging by most polls, Fujimori will win, helped by a propaganda campaign associating Humala with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.  More on that later.

Just as I finished this, it turned 4pm, and the results are coming in on the radio, with Humala the likely winner, contrary to all the earlier predictions.  Amazing.






patti Donovan (KEE) said:

It's great reading your blog, Thanks for keeping us updated on what you and the crew are doing. You should all be proud!!! Tell ricky his mom said hello

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This page contains a single entry by Montrie, Chad published on June 5, 2011 5:12 PM.

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