Saturday, May 28, 2011

To be continued....

Sorry for the super slow updates! We had our final day in the field today, so this past week has been absolutely insane with work. Like how I decided to open one last "easy" unit....and it turned out to have a giant hole in it with some pretty important stuff. So after digging a meter into the ground, I then had to do all the paperwork.

So, good news is I´ve had awesome fun and found neat things. Bad news is I dont have any time to actually tell you about it.

But I´ll be heading up to Lima on Monday, and then Tuesday I´ll be in Panama! And Wednesday I´ll be in the states again. So by the end of the week I´ll try to post some pictures and tell you some of my new favorite stories.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Honey Man

So I´ve been having a craving for honey lately. 

Mostly because I finally found peanut butter in a store here. Peanut butter is usually the holy grail of food items I miss while in Peru, and I´ve been known to scrounge around and beg it off of the people smart enough to bring it down with them. Notice how I am never the one smart enough to bring it down with me.

Anyway, Moquegua is magical and actually sells peanut butter!! And they have yummy tiny bananas, so I was so,so close to a perfect peanut butter and banana sandwich....wih honey.

Now, my roomie told me of a honey  man who walks the market on the weekends. The market is a teeming mass of sensory overload. It is loud, chaotic, and the place where you can find anything and everything you want. Need oreos? Need 5 kilos of tomatoes? Need a booth that sells both male enhancement drugs and plungers? They have it. So obviously, they have honey too.

But the honey man is different - instead of having a nice stationary stall, he is ambulatory. He wanders around trying to find customers, and only on the weekend, and only at the special weekend market.  So finding him is actually something akin to quantum mechanics...what are the chances that you will both be in the same place at the same time for long enough to exchange money for honey goodness?

I had been trying for about 2 weeks, and failing. No honey, no delicious honey banana sandwich. I had pretty much given up on that dream. And then one Friday night we decided to go to the regular market in order to buy DVDs.

We are happily standing there, trying to find a blackmarket romantic comedy with which to pass the time. Suddenly, right behind us, I hear someone say....HONEY!

We turn around and there is a tiny old man, with a black duffle bag. He looks at us, open the bag, and inside is one single jar of honey. A huge jar. Like, a gallon of honey.

Us: I dunno if we can really use that much...
Him: You can put it on bread, in tea...
Us: I dont thin-

So, we finally give in and buy the gigantic jar of honey. Because it was fate, right? Somehow, in some crazy magical way, the universe lined up perfectly and the honey man found us in the middle of the market and gave us his one jar of honey.

Life is gooooooood.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Isn´t it ironic

5 weeks in Peru, and I had not had any stomach problems. I had enjoyed great food, good drinks, and even eaten street food from the market.

And then I went to a pizza place run by a white guy from Utah.

After throwing up every half-hour all night, I´ve decided that I hate Utah. And Hawaiian pizza.

How I feel:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I thought I´d share this site with you.

Peru Fail.

And yep, me and my roommate have our own submissions waiting to be sent in.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The secret to eternal life

While we do work a lot, we dont work all the time.

Sometimes, we sleep and eat.

Just kidding - we actually do a lot of fun things. Like last weekend my roomie and I had a girls night out where we went dancing with two ladies we know. We first went to a bar, where we had what were possibly the strongest drinks I have ever had-EVER. As we were sitting there enjoying our pisco and  caipirinha, the women asked us how old they thought they were. We threw out 40 for one , and 50 for the other.  Turns out the first woman was 50, the other was.....70.


She looked incredible, had perfecft makeup, was fit, dressed up, and drinking pisco sours like a champ. Such a champ that she easily out drank me at the bar. What is her secret, we wondered. Also, will she be able to keep up with us??

About to find out. we  next hit up a local nightclub and began having a three hour marathon of dancing to some reggaton, salsa, of course, lots of Shakira. Now Peruvians do it right when they go out. The club doesnt even start to  fill up until midnight, and  we didnt see some of our friends arrive until 130 in the morning. And then they just keep on going until 5 or 7 in the morning.

Sadly I am not built to withstand such antics, and by 2 am I was having a lot of problems standing. But I thought that I had at least out danced the 70 year old. I sank onto a couch in the VIP area, feeling secure in my party abilities.

As soon as I sat, the  70 year old slams down a  last rum and coke and starts doing a highlands dance that looks a lot like the macarina. She is even  JUMPING.  I cant even move. 

She outdanced AND outdrank me. Dammit

We then asked her the secret to her youth fulness. She told us that she had never married, had never had kids, and still drank, smoked and danced as much as she wanted.

Now that I know this brilliant plan, I plan on living forever.                          

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I would just like you all to know that I won the Sapo championship this weekend. And that was AFTER we went Pisco tasting and I drank way too many delicious things.

I even won a prize. Lotion.

It smells like CHAMPION and VICTORY.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Archaeologists - we will date any old thing

Hey guys,

I´m glad so many of you are reading and enjoying the blog. Sorry my updates are sporadic, and my email responses even more so! I do love you all, but most of my free time is spent sleeping. So what do I do when I am not sleeping? Good question! Let me tell you....


We get up fairly early, around 6. My roommates cat likes to wake me up and then trip me as I head to the bathroom to brush my teeth. We have a breakfast of coca tea and magical Peruvian bread, load up our truck with a ridiculous amount of buckets and then head to the site - blasting The Beatles the whole way.

At the site I meet up with my team of workers, which usually consists of two or three Aymaran women. We have been working on 4x4 meter units lately, which is a lot of ground to cover and a lot of things to explain. Luckily they are total rockstars and are great at moving dirt quickly. Only very occasionally do I need to waive my hands frantically and make attempts at giving instructions in Spanish. But even when I have to do this, things surprisingly work out really well.

My current unit is right on a big looter´s hole (the Spanish came looking for gold at some point), so to go check on my workers and come back I literally have to walk up-hill both ways. Not through the snow though....but through adobe and stones. Sometimes barefoot because I don´t like to stomp through fragile things with shoes on. I´ve tried to convince everyone that naked archaeology would be even more awesome and protective of the site...but no one believes me.

When not walking through it, digging through layers of this broken adobe and stones is pretty sucky, and I curse the Spanish and their greed often. But eventually we hit the cool stuff underneath all the crap - the animal bones, the decorated pottery, or the occasional human tooth. All of these things rest on the floor of the temple, just as they were left a thousand years ago. And luckily, the people who built the temple I am working at decided to make it really, really easy for me to find the floor.

They made it bright red.

It is like a giant red stop sign saying "THIS IS WHERE THE GOOD STUFF IS". The Tiwanaku were obviously very considerate of my feelings.

The really neat thing about the floor is that you can find the impressions of the wall bases. Most of the walls have long since fallen down (actually, ripped down by angry people...more on that later), and then their adobe bricks get spread around kind of randomly. But if you are very careful and sweep very slowly you can find the imprints where the heavy wall sat in the floor. And from those you can make a map of the former temple! It is rather magical to have a whole bunch of jumbled adobe, and then to brush at away to find a beautiful square imprint showing you exactly where the building stood.

Magic and impressions! I should take this show to Vegas.

Anyway, after everything is dug up we have to map everything, which is the only source of stress in my life. I really am not good at drawing things. My adobe piles turn into giant piles of potatoes on the paper. And I am sure that if I had to actually draw a giant pile of potatoes they would all turn out to be....lumpy socks or something. But I work hard at it, measure everything ten times each, and eventually I get the giant mess of adobes onto the paper, and the paper into the folder.

After that stressful event we are usually done, and we pack everything up and head on home to do lab work, which is counting up all the stuff and tagging it. The cat helps by trying to steal the tags and knocking things on the floor. Which pretty much brings the day full circle, now that I think about it.