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Mother's Day in Lima - Yeah I know that was like 3 weeks ago!

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1 comments

Mother's day, a holiday made specially in recognition of the woman who went through several hours of tremendous pain and suffering and never let's you forget it. It's a day were families gather to pay tribute to mom's all around the world. Most of you probably took mom out to dinner with the family or made a wonderful breakfast, while you showered her with gifts. I however celebrated mother's day a little differently this time around.

As most of you are aware my mother resides in the Portland, Oregon so instead I went with my father to Comas to visit my grandmother. The morning started out early with a quick trip to the fish market in Callao to pick up a few Chitas. We arrived at my grandmothers with fish in hand and congratulated her continuous dedicated service as a mom. Eventually a neighborhood friend of my father's came by the house to talk awhile. The man with whom my father had been speaking with (a tall thin individual with grey hair) informed us that he was heading to visit his mother, brother, and sister in the community cementary. We decided to accompany him (it was about 11am at the time we headed up the hill to the cementary) to the cementary to visit his family.

The hot sunny beamed down on the 50 year old hilltop cementary as the clock reached noon. I of course came prepared with my trusty Nikon camera, ready to take pictures. Arriving on the scene I realized that this was a side of Mother's day that had never existed to me, a Mother's day where loved ones have passed, a day of smiles and tears. The cementary was filled with people visiting the graves of their loved ones. There were makeshift graves as far as the eye could see. For the most part there was a calm up in the hills as people paid their respects in ways that I have never been witness to before. Instead of just being a spectator I was going to partake in rituals.

As we visited the graves of the man's loved ones I began to notice that people were visiting graves with food, soda, flowers, candles, and alcohol in hand. Family would gather around the grave and place flowers and light candles. A prayer would be made and then some words would be made. Then the food would be brought out and the drinks passed around. They were eating and drinking alongside the grave and would occasionally pour a glass of beer or soda on the grave. The man after placing flowers on the graves then invited us to a few beers. Luckily for us a local perveyour of beer just happened to be around, like a hot dog vendor at a baseball game. An hour passed by and the beers had all been emptied so we decided to head back to the car until my father ran into another childhood friend.

The guy was up visiting his mother and sister as well and began to catchup on old times with my father. Before long more beers were requested as the sun began to slowing sink behind the hills (it was now 3pm). While we drank and spoke about such topics as the upcoming kiss concert, a little girl and boy came along with buckets of pink and blue paint and offered to paint the graves. Since the graves were worn by the sun's harsh rays the man agreed to the offer. The kids were no older than 9 and 11 and worked diligently. Before long relatives of the man came and more beers were brought forth.

After about 12 beers I was starting to feel worn especially since I hadn't eaten anything but the sun felt good with the cool breeze that came down the hills and so I decided to let the good times roll. Eventually a pair of aging musicians scaled the hill and were contracted by my father to play some classic Huayno music. Some more beers and a beautiful sunset and we decided to call it a day. At this point it's safe to say that I was feeling GOOD (sorry grandma!) and don't really remember much except that I had such a craving for food that I ate an entire fish right before passing out (from exhaustion, NOT EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL COMSUMPTION) on my grandmother's bed.

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Chicarron de Chancho

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Tuesday, May 26, 2009 0 comments

This delicious little piece of heaven is a favorite among Peruvians. The Americans have their bacon and the Italians have their pancetta, but in Peru chicarron de chancho or fried pork. These pieces of pork are fried in their own fat with skin and all until crispy and golden brown on the outside. It is usually served with fried camote (sweet potato) and a salsa criolla of red onion and rocoto (a little red peruvian pepper) with a little bit of lime juice.

The above picture is of a common breakfast sandwich which consists of chicharron de chancho with red onion, camote, y aji (a salsa made of rocoto). The bread is called pan frances or french rolls in english.

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More photos from Parque de las Leyendas

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Monday, May 25, 2009 0 comments

Well as promised here are some more photos from when I went to the zoo (I know that was like almost a month ago). I apologize for the lack of posts as I have been tied up in the social life down here and have been too distracted. Its nice to see people actually read these posts though. Anyways I will post more a little later tonight. For some reason the internet connection doesn't want to let me post many pictures so I have to wait awhile before I can post more.

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Trip to the zoo (Parque de las Leyendas)

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, May 6, 2009 0 comments

Last weekend was labor day weekend here in Lima, Peru and to celebrate a day free of work I went to the zoo with some friends to look at the animals. I know its not my usual activity of wild escapades but I figured I would at least be able to try out my long distance lens. The only negative aspect of the trip was the irritating fences that blocked most of my photos.

I realize that there aren't many photos of animals but I am currently experiencing some difficulties with my internet so I will have to try again tomorrow.

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