Life in Pucallpa

  • It is never not loud.  This morning when I woke up the noises I heard included a chainsaw, hammering, 4 dogs, a chicken, cars, motorcycles, car horns, an airplane (we’re directly in the path of takeoff), and the neighbors’ conversation.
  • It is dusty.  There are no glass windowpanes, just screens.  There are also only 2 paved roads in the entire city.  You do the math.
  • Ants. Everywhere. On my computer, in my book, on the fridge.  They’re tiny little “ormigitas,” and they don’t bite, so they’re just annoying.
  • All the same TV shows are on Disney channel, but dubbed over in Spanish.  Ruth and I just finished watching Phineas and Ferb, and now we’re watching the Fairly Odd Parents.
  • We eat rice a lot.  As in, I have only had 2 meals without it since I got here.
  • Everyone is very giving.  They all are eager to help however they can.  The lady across the street has made me a chocolate cake and American bread.  The man who does the yardwork washed my sandals after we waded through the mud to pick up the bread from the lady across the street.  Mama Rosy is currently SEWING the lace on my cami, which was ripped before I even came here.
  • The culture as a whole is laid back.  You can be up to 2 hours late to an event before it’s considered rude… and before you even need to call!  One morning I’ll ask “que hicimos hoy?” (What are we doing today?) and by the time breakfast is over, all of those plans may have been cancelled, changed, or postponed.  There’s not a lot of planning ahead.
  • People often answer in a very roundabout way in order to avoid saying no.  For instance, the first day I was here, we went to the orphanage to meet with the director.  She had had an emergency and was not there, so Zaida said we would go the next morning.  When I got up the next morning, Mama Rosy told me that Zaida had called and told her it wouldn’t work out for us to go that day, and maybe we’d reschedule for next week, maybe.  Monica told me later that this is a normal way for Peruvians to avoid saying “no, we don’t really have any work for you to do and besides we already have 2 English volunteers here.”
  • The traffic is INSANE.  Motocarros, motorcycles, taxis, and the occasional SUV fight for space on the roads.  Some of the roads are one way but none are marked as such.  Recently (since I was here last year) the government installed traffic lights, which have helped immensely, but it’s still the craziest traffic I’ve ever seen.
  • Whatever Mama Rosy is cooking right now smells DELICIOUS.
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One thought on “Life in Pucallpa

  1. Marilyn Cuthbert says:

    Please update this !!!! I’m dyng here in Michigan while you are all in Peru! I need details!!!!! Marilyn

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