Unfortunately the damages caused from the theft would be to high to restore the vehicle back to its original condition so I think it's safe to say we arrived too late to save the Pathfinder.
Rest in Peace Pathfinder, your riding the highways of heaven now.
In Peru when people want to raise money regardless of the need, they often throw what is called an anticuchada (where the dish anticuchos are served) or a pollada (where chicken is served). These events usually offer a plate the mentioned food at a set price in an environment that offers music and the opportunity to socialize and dance. Beer and soda are also commonly sold, as these events are also seen as an opportunity to get together with friends and family to party.
Yesterday Zdenka held her pollada in the local (a place that is offered to those who want to throw a party or event) a few houses down from hers. I managed to arrive about 2pm which was just in time to assist her father with the preparation and frying of the chickens. Thankfully most of the prep work had already been taken care of in advance so all that was really left to do was fry the chickens. For the event Zdenka had purchased around 75 whole chickens, each of which cost S/. 14 and which she sold during her event at S/. 8 per quarter piece of chicken with sliced potatoes and hot sauce (rocoto)! If you can manage to wrangle up a large enough group of attendees then you can make a good amount of money.
Probably the most tiring process throughout the entire event was the job held by Zdenka's father, who was in charge of frying all the chickens! Since one fry pan wasn't enough to take on the large task, several pots and pans, including one huge pot were enlisted. On six separate burners, four from the stove and two from the portable stove were used in order to fry about 15 quarter pieces of chicken at a time. Her father must have used about 20 bottles of canola oil to fry the 300 quarter pieces of chicken, a process which left the chicken completely covered in oil and grease.
The pollada went well although it was not as successful as the anticuchada which was held about a month and a half ago. People began purchasing beer around 5pm and the party went on until 1:30am when the event began to die down.
For my experience with these types of fundraising events I have come to learn that one can make a good amount of money but to do so requires a lot of pre-planning and labor to make it payoff.
Last week I witnessed a large public bus try to pass a car by going into oncoming traffic only to collide with a large truck and veer onto the sidewalk and into the side of a building. This display of the bus driver's complete disregard or lack of concern for the safety of his passengers aboard reflected a very common trend in mentality. In Peru, one would argue that the passenger sacrifices certain securities in exchange for shorter travel times and quick arrival to destination, however at some point one has to ask whether the risks of public transportation in Lima are worth saving a few minutes on the highway.
To better understand the situation it is important for the reader to realize that Peru has one of the highest transit accident rates in Latin America, second only to Argentina whom of course has ten times the number of vehicles. According to a study conducted by the Universidad Católica de Lima in 2007, in 2006 the number of victims involved in public transit accidents (in all of Peru) totaled 77,840 of which 6% were fatal. Studies futher indicate that the number of accidents registered in the country continue to rise from year to year, even more surprising is that the number of fatalities rise with this trend as well.
The Ministry of Communication and Transportation published statistics that placed the most common cause of vehicular accidents was due to excessive speed (31.8%), which was followed by driver recklessness (25.4%). This doesn't surprise me in the least bit since these are the problems which continue to persist today on the highways and streets of Lima.
The publication further goes on to point out that an estimated 7,000 public transport drivers operate under suspended drivers licenses (for infringing upon public transit laws), of which shockingly 70% operate in Lima! In Lima, there exists this almost complete disregard for traffic laws, which is apparent when a stop sign is taken a merely a suggestion by drivers rather than as an obligation (god forbid you ever try to cross at a cross-walk and a car has to stop at a designated stop sign, you might just get yelled at and insulted by the driver for not giving him/her the right of way).
How is one suppose to feel safe when the enter a public bus and put their lives in the safety of a driver whose only concern is to pick up as many passengers as possible while competing with other buses both rival and fellow company drivers. Don't even get me started about the travel buses that transport citizens across the country while trying to beat the clock at all costs.
According to the Director Juan Tapia, of the Center of Investigation for Terrestrial Transport (Cidatt), "Peru has one of the highest index for transit related deaths in Latin America, with 30 fatalities for every 10,000 vehicles." Director Tapia also stated that from 2001 to 2008 that the number of death and injury related transit accidents within the country (excluding Lima Metropolitan Area) has decreased by 6%, where in Lima it has increased 82%, with the common cause being the recklessness of drivers. In this study the most common victim were pedestrians.
Some believe that the problem with the large incidence rates is due in part to a lack of a structured authoritative body to better enforce the plague of transit problems in Peru and Lima. At the moment the streets remain unsafe and the risk still exists if not stronger than before when someone chooses to take public transportation. This danger is also present for those who choose to drive their own personal vehicle on the roads and highways of Peru. How does one drive safely while respecting the transit laws when many do not, it gives a whole new meaning to defensive driving.
Universidad La Católica de Lima
Rachel from Rachel in Peru just posted an article talking about the changes that the US Embassy in Peru is making in regards to US citizen and Resident fees. This isn't good for those currently living in Peru and currently planning to get a visa or any other service. Below is the full rundown.
Sensitive Privacy Act This email is UNCLASSIFIED.WARDEN MESSAGE
July 7, 2010
FEE INCREASES GO INTO EFFECT JULY 13, 2010
PASSPORT AND CITIZENSHIP SERVICES:
- The application processing fee for adult passport applications will change from $55 to $70.
- The passport book security surcharge will change from $20 to $40.
- The application fee for passport cards will increase, from $20 to $30 for adults, and from $10 to $15 for minors.
- A new fee of $82 for additional passport pages will be imposed.
- The fee for file search and verification of U.S. citizenship (generally conducted only by domestic passport agencies) will increase from $60 to $150.
- The fee for a Consular Report of Birth A broad will change from $65 to $100.
- A new fee of $450 is being established for documentation of formal renunciation of U.S. citizenship, which applies only to those persons who choose to take the Oath of Renunciation pursuant to Sec. 349(a)(5) INA.
OVERSEAS CITIZENS SERVICES:
- The fee for making arrangements for a deceased non-U.S. citizen is changing from consular time (Item 75 on the
Schedule of Fees) plus expenses to $200, plus expenses.
- Notarial and authentication services, which now range from $20 to $30, will all be $50.
JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES:
- The fee for processing of letters rogatory will increase from $735 to $2,275.
- Fees for taking depositions and executing commissions to take testimony will change as follows: scheduling/arranging appointments for depositions, from $475 to $1,283; attending or taking depositions or executing commissions to take testimony, from the consular time charge of $265/hour to $309/hour plus expenses; swearing in witnesses for telephone depositions and supervising telephone depositions, from the
consular time charge of $265/hour to $231/hour; providing seal and certification of depositions, from $70 to $415.
- Consular time charges (item 75 on the Schedule of Fees) will decrease from $265 to $231.
While currently researching a story about a murdered American journalist, Todd Smith who was killed while investigating the drug trade in 1989, I managed to uncover (new for me at least) a Google feature that I was unaware even existed. The search option is a Newspaper Archive Search and it allows the user to type the name of the newspaper and then pick the specific publication based on year and exact date. Once you select the newspaper you are able to view the ENTIRE paper! For someone like me who is constantly searching for answers this is an amazing feature and yet I am surprised that I have never heard of it until now.
Here is the link for those interested in giving it a try: http://www.google.com/archivesearch
Well July has finally arrived and cold winter weather has set in as I must hold tight for the next 5 monthes until summer arrives (hopefully on-time). Work has slowed a bit since some of classes have ended and I find myself with more free time than I would care to have, still it´s nice to have a day or to during the week to breathe.
This month as well as last month I have been busy getting all my papers in order with the municipality of Breña for my upcoming wedding in August, thats right folks I´m getting married! Even as I type this post from Zdenka´s home I am currently finishing up the last remaining tasks in order to get married here in Peru. Let me just say that the while living in Peru may be great there are a few things that are quite tedious, like getting married for example. So far Zdenka and I have had to fill out numerous declarations and documents of which are only the beginning of the civil marriage process, then we had to pay to publish an wedding announcement in a local newspaper (I believe it was called La Razón, which means The Truth or Reason). Meanwhile I had to get my birth certificate certified by the Peruvian Consulate in San Francisco to verify that I was indeed born in the US, this process was not as stressful since I already had an extra copy from a year ago. Today we took our medical exams which was an interesting ordeal, first off the State requires that all couples get medical blood-work done to test for any comunicable diseases or viruses, sounds simple enough yet strange for marriage. Well when we went to have the test done we first paid the fee and then filled out a standard medical form (so far so good) but then when we handed in the document the nurse asked Zdenka what her blood type was to which she gave the answer and when it came time to ask me I was clueless so guess what I had to have my blood taken. A quick prick from a surgical needle and my blood was donated, exam finished? What left me was confused was that because Zdenka knew her bloodtype she did not have to give blood, hell she didn´t even recieve a medical exam for that matter. I guess the honor system and prefabricated medical results are common practice by the municipality!
Anyways, whats done is done (even though I paid for an medical exam which was practically never conducted) and all that is left is for me to take my certified birth certificate to the Ministry of Exterior Relations to have them verify that the Consulate in San Francisco verified my birth certificates validity, a process of course which will cost money and time. It´s amazing how they make up ways to stretch out a legal process for the sake of making a few extra soles. Regardless of how ridiculous the process might be the end result is all that really matters to me.
"... From this moment on, Peru is free and independent, by the general will of the people and the justice of its cause that God defends. Long live the homeland! Long live freedom! Long live our independence!".