Thursday, August 20, 2009


I am finding my way to the computer again after a number of days away. It has been a wonderful, crazy, busy week.

I went out with Desy on Tuesday to visit some loan recipients and help her conduct some of her last interviews. As she mentioned in her post, we hiked way up high, to one of the higher points I have been to outside of Cajamarca. Lucia showed us her adobe house with a spectacular view. While I was complaining about the hike, Lucia was laughing as she carried her 2 month old baby and Desy was keeping up right along with her.

On Wednesday I went out to monitor our Health/Stove project with GyC. We went out with one of the stove technicians to make sure the stoves were working properly and also that the women knew how to use the stoves and maintain their stoves - to ensure a long lasting stove life. Many of the women have never cooked with this type of mud/cement stove before so there were many tips and recommendations given through out the morning. Some women started their stove fires with leaves - a definite NO (as this can actually harm the stove by making the smoke accumulate and return out of the entrance) . Other women were covering their stovetops with large metal tops that heat up the stovetops and actually degrade the stove opening. I was impressed, as always, as GyC staff kindly and assertively gave usage recommendations and assisted each family with their stove.
When I returned from our stove monitoring tour I was beat, tired and hurting. I was planning on returning to the office that afternoon to help Brad with his second workshop, but I was no help to him. In fact, when I arrived at the office with a throbbing headache the DHF women came to my rescue. They said, "You have Chucaque." Chucaque is caused by 1.the air in the countryside, 2.the sun and 3.being embarrassed. I think I only had the 2nd (plus a little stress and worry about my rodent problem at home), but whatever. The cure for Chucaque is plunking (until your head makes a popping sound) hair from your head to release the tension that had accumulated in my head. Both Jesus and Rosa massaged my head and eventually "plucked/popped" my hair. They released some of the tension, but I had to head home to get the full relief. As I was leaving the office I could hear our office dog 'Sexy' barking when all the women clapped as Brad finished his 2nd workshop, so I knew it was a success.
After I rested and recovered from my Chucaque, I prepared Desy and Brad for a long Buy Day yesterday. We were in the office until 8:30pm last night eliminating, choosing, organizing and labeling the women's products that will soon find their way to Austin. Desy took the night bus last night and Brad only has a couple of days left. It has been so wonderful having them here and I truely wish their stay was a little longer.
Paz ~ Nora

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