September 2nd, 2007 – by: Belluomo
Me with Karen's family
I met up with the girls I had met the previous night at their family´s shop in Tarapoto, just off the main road. It was a sleepy Sunday afternoon except for the barbeque going on next door. Lots of music and smoke and people milling about. It looked like a really nice time. I met Karen and Yokono again (yes, named after Lennon´s wife, egads) and their friend whose name I don´t remember, possibly because she was completely without personality and seemed only to want to help me part with my money as much as possible. She had already annoyed me the previous night at the club by insisting we go out to eat afterwards and by ordering up a large portion of chicken which she hardly ate and then constantly reminding the other girls that I should pay for everything.
Me with Karen's family
I took a real dislike to her but she was to accompany us today to the laguna and further irritate me. By the end of the afternoon I didn´t want to see her again. Anyway, I met the whole family, except for the father who was off bidding farewell to a cousin who was preparing to fly to Lima
and then to New York for a couple years. So I was the only male there in a house full of women. Six daughters, the mom and the grandmother. We talked for a bit with a compilation 80´s music video playing in the background. The girls even knew most of the words to the songs, even if they didn´t know what they were saying. I gave them a treat later by bringing along my iPod and putting it on 80´s which made Yokono extremely happy.
She listened to the songs all afternoon.
It was too late to go to the waterfalls so their mom proposed the Laguna de Venezia not far away. It´s a pond really, not a lake, but you can rent paddleboats and swim and eat and drink in the restaurant on the shores. The day was sunny and hot so it seemed like a good alternative so we set off, the four of us. The laguna was so nice. I loved swimming and I stayed in the water for quite some time, overcoming my fear of lake creatures and water snakes and biting fish and the like. It´s irrational I know but it´s hard to fight those irrational thoughts! We had a nice lunch of chicken, pork and ham with sauces and fried plantain chips and mashed plantain and fried plantain. Lots of plantain.
After we got back I had a shower and then relaxed and caught up with some blogs and pictures. In the evening I went back to Karen´s family´s shop and sat in the front with them watching the 80s DVD again. They´ve played it so much that many of the selections were scratched and unplayable. And there were so many errors in spelling on the dvd cover that I got a pencil and paper and corrected the mistakes for them. I also gamely translated some of the lyrics and thoroughly enjoyed the throwback to the 80s sitting in a family´s house in the Peruvian jungle. I was even laughing to myself, thinking, ïf anyone I know could see me now...¨ I was thinking of Nathan Hedges when the Say You, Say Me video came on by Lionel Ritchie. And I was thinking that Abbie would have just loved the situation as well.