What have we learned after a week of hitting the books?
--Actually, since textbooks are expensive, most college students down here don't buy them; instead professors place all of the readings in copy machine stations across the campus, and it's your responsibility as a student to pick them up weekly, biweekly, or whatever the case may be. Though there's a bit of a spat between publishing companies and Latin American universities who use this practice, so a wind of change may be on its way: keep your fingers crossed for reasonably-priced textbooks!!!
So, what have we learned after a week of hitting....the copy machine?
--Now you've got it. Well, I've spent most of time coming up with really cool band names: "Singer and Musicians," "Singer's Sergeants," "El Cobrador y La Combis," just to give you a taste.
But, it wasn't all fun and games.
I spent much of the early part of last week reading about El Conflicto Armada here in en El Peru, even going to a museum specifically built to keep the memory of the terror of those times alive, so that they may never come again. Here's the video documenting the struggle between PCP-SL (Partido Comunista Peruano Sendero Luminoso) led by Abimael Guzman and the Peruvian National Police and the Military, under the command of Fujimori. If you don't know much about these times, here's a bit of a summary in images:
Please read more about it. Much like my life and the lives of others of my generation are defined or will be defined by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the lives of many Peruvians of the prior generation are defined by the struggle between the national government and PCP-SL, roughly a period of twenty years (1980-2000). Thus, if you really want a comprehensive grasp on what Peru is right now, El Conflicto Armado's a good place to start.
After the museum, many of us wanted to head to the beach, to digest the very heavy information we'd ingested.
As I sat at stared out at the horizon, I contemplated what life in constant terror would feel like and whether at a certain point we'd all just be, to steal a line from Tim, existing for the sake of existing. The rhythm of the ocean rolled in and rolled out with a lot of my heavy feelings.
On the other side of that very same ocean, however, the people of Japan were seeking refuge and security from all the terror the sea was now bringing them. My thoughts and wishes go out to those in Japan as they attempt, desperately, to stop the bleeding to one of the worst wounds ever suffered collectively by a nation. I encourage anyone to give, even if only a little, to help the crisis in Japan.
Realities are so fluid, by the time you've caught your breath and have reflected on a personal crisis or period of achievement, another loop comes roaring at you. Even as a 21-year old, the learning curve on life remains almost as steep as it was when I was just a lad. Though, something that has changed is my willingness to take on that steep curve a tad bit slower, with more patience and reserved judgment, for, once at the top, the view is unbelievable. Trust me, there exists a place above the ugliness and darkness that can engulf you if you stray from your path even for a second. I've been able to subvert a lot of near tragedies in my life, and I can say the view from the top, however brief, is sweeter than a sneezing baby panda dipped in chicha morada.
With that in mind: I will now sum up my weekend in poetry:
Mario Vargas Llosa came to school
To talk of architecture and Lima,
Comicbook convention was hella cool,
Anthony Robles, wrestling style = perfect schema.