When I was standing at the peak of the old mountain, feeling the cold blowing wind and seeing a rolling sea of fog in all directions, waiting seemed the most natural thing in the world.  A literature of conjured images could have flooded my synapses like bad champagne, could have, but did not.  In its … Continue reading

The navel of the world

Nice little article about the effectiveness of Bolsa Familia in Brasil.  Funny how now that I’m vacationing in Cusco, I get the hankering to peruse The Economist et al again; whereas while I was actually doing social work in Trujillo, news and analysis of other goings-on never seemed relevant. After some early morning lost-baggage drama … Continue reading

The Ride

Around midnight I am sitting in a deserted common room.  In front of me I see a chess board with the troops lined up for battle, and behind it four equal stacks of contraband video discs under the TV table.  To the right is the house phone, sitting atop two phone books on a wooden … Continue reading

15 soles

Definitely on the same page as Mr Blattman: I don’t like reading papers describing “contrived lab experiments”.  This somewhat validates my having taken a class focusing on group theory. Here in Trujillo we gringos are a bargaining bunch.  You wave down a taxi, which screeches to a halt at your feet.  They tell you it’s … Continue reading

Awake in Jorge Chavez

SOME TIME HAS passed since I last added anything substantial to this hodgepodge collection, and for good reason–my life in the good ol’ corn belt was blissfully static.  In the morning the sun would rise over rows of corn and the beige east walls of houses side by side in the quiet suburbs.  A handful … Continue reading