Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
Nothing could be further from the truth in Peru. The tradition here is mainly to exchange gifts Christmas Eve and then have a huge family dinner at midnight, all this while fireworks light up the sky over the entirety of Lima. I will be spending my Christmas Eve with Steve and his family. This will be the third one for me and if tradition holds, we will have Pavo (turkey) Estofoado, Res de Rojo, rice, potatoes, green beans, a salad and some type of dessert (probably Panetone, a Peruvian fruit cake) with a nice glass of red wine. The food is delicious; Steve’s Mom is an excellent cook. Her boyfriend, Jose Manuel, will fix the Res de Rojo. It’s a roast of sorts (beef) cooked long and slow in a red sauce. There will be six or seven of us at the dinner and in all probability enough food for twenty. Sometime between two and three AM, we will head back to the apartment and I will spend a night tossing and turning from eating so late. Ahhh, but that’s tradition and you can’t fight it.
I’ve managed to get a little writing done this week. I’m 2/3rd the way through chapter 3 in my second book. I would be further along but the character telling the story in this chapter has been hiding from me and I’ve had a hard time getting him to reveal himself. It’s a dark chapter dealing with child slavery and boy soldiers. I want to try and inject a little social consciousness in this book without being too preachy. To research for the book, I’ve been reading articles on the web about the long term affects this can have on these children. It’s a very scary and heartbreaking story. I also received some more pages from Tim Moloney on my dialog for the first book. I will work on that this afternoon. So far, I’m on track to get the first book to some agents the first week of the New Year. I’ve also decided to try and write a short fantasy story for my grandniece and nephews. I’m also going to try and illustrate it. This will be a long term project and I’m only four pages into it so far.
The writers’ group didn’t meet this week. Between illness, new students and travel; we couldn’t get enough people together for a meeting. I was already in Miraflores to meet Tim for breakfast when I started getting the calls. Instead I spent the morning with Tim listening to his travails about teaching English in Peru. He’s having problems getting a job at an established school with regular hours and benefits. I got to see the new place he’s staying in and afterwards we wandered through the Surquillo street market looking at all the offerings. I managed to keep my wallet in my pocket and came home without a bunch of stuff I really don’t need. On Friday I have my regular meeting with Larry over coffee. As always our topics of conversation were wide ranging and interesting.
Last but not least, I will probably be moving in the next three months. Due to the plunge of the Dollar against the Sol (it was 3.16/$1 when I first came to Peru, it’s now 2.67/$1), she’s raising my rent $100 a month. That kind of price increase is not in my budget so I will be scouring the want ads for the next few months looking for a place to live. I’ve been lucky so far, let’s hope the streak continues.
Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you all have a healthy and prosperous New Year.