New Years Eve in Peru. I sadly feel like I missed out. In the morning, I went with my host sisters to church. It’s really interesting because I don’t realize it I guess, but my host family rarely leaves this little area of the street where all the family is, and for the most part they can buy everything they need here as well. So making the ¼ mile walk to the church was a big deal. And being that it was sunny, it became an ordeal. We had to take 2 breaks along the way to the church in the shade, and then once we got to the church we sat outside for another 10min break before we entered. Sometimes I get really confused about this stuff. Once we were in church I have come to realize that it is more of a social gathering then it is to truly attend mass. For one, they talk through the entire mass and eye up the other people within the church and then talk about them. And the kids just run wild and play in the aisle, scream, and be as loud as possible and no one does anything. And this goes on the entire mass. It’s very distracting and I cant seem to figure out why they even go, I think it’s more out of moral obligation then anything else.
Then, in the afternoon we came home to make a scarecrow. Apparently the tradition is that at midnight in Peru they burn these scarecrows that are dressed in old clothes and it’s burning away the old and preparing for the new. It was so weird to see these scarecrows all over the place for new years. My host family went out and bought fireworks for it too…I missed all of this which I will explain later.
Later in the evening we had dinner…or so I thought, we had a soup. But I was informed at midnight we would have a bigger dinner. My host sister has asked me earlier in the week to go to a quincianera with her in my site mates town. I knew a little of this was so she could see her boyfriend who was a godfather for the event. I agreed. She said we were going to leave at 10, so I got ready and was good to go at 10. I also had told BJ about it and text him saying that wed be on our way at 10. I should have no better…Peruvian time. My host sister comes by my room at 10 and she is just then going to get her shower. So….at 11 we leave. So there was a moto taxi waiting for us outside and my host sister had commented about something before we left but I didn’t pay attention, and I didn’t pay attention to the guy driving either. So we get to the quincianera, and I didn’t even bother looking for BJ because we were so incredibly late, and she told the moto taxi guy to wait for us and we’d be just a minute. I should have known she was up to something. Well we go in, find her boyfriend, then she darts off. So I am left sitting there and people are just staring at me. I am not as well received in that town because I am not their volunteer and they aren’t familiar with me.
Then, the beer and food started circulating, and as sick as I got after the last wedding I attended I turned them both down, not without a steady persistence from a man with beer. I decided to avoid it all I would go outside and wait for my host sister. The moto taxi driver came to sit with me….that’s when it hit me that he was at the wedding we were at the weekend before and he has a huge crush on my host sister and he keeps coming around the house to get her attention. And the only reason he drove us to the party was because of her! And here she made him wait for us while she spent time with her boyfriend. When I figured that out, I was really upset. He started asking me lots of questions about her, and if she had a boyfriend and all kinds of stuff, I felt terrible. Then, as time passed, he was wondering where she was, because she said we were only going to be a minute, and apparently she had promised to go to a dance with him that was back in our town.
So here I was when midnight rolled around of the new year sitting outside this party in a town I was dragged too because my host sister wanted to see her boyfriend in secret and she ditched me. And I am sitting there with this mopey 19 year old moto taxi driver with a broken heart. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was in Peru, it was a pretty crappy way to bring in 2011. Eventually my host sister found me, dragged me back in so I could watch her dance with her boyfriend one time and we left with the very sad moto taxi driver. I was even more sad because as we drove home, all of the scarecrows I was dying to see burned up were lying in the streets charred. I missed the entire thing! I was really sad. And the entire time we rode home in the moto taxi there was this super weird tension because the kid was crying, we even had to pull over for him to wash his face and get it together. And the whole time my host sister was making fun of him. I just don’t have much of a tolerance for that. This kid never did anything but like her, and she just totally used him and was a total bitch to him. It wasn’t fair. Then right before we got home she asked me lie to the rest of the family and tell them that BJ was there so they didn’t get suspicious of her. I felt horrible about everything.
When we came in the house my family was just finishing up dinner, and I got served alone after everyone, and then they all went next door to my host sisters cantina to drink and dance. I wasn’t really interested, my heart was broken a little as well, I just hate how the whole night had gone down.
My family dragged me outside with them, and I made an escape to make a pretend phone call that would end with me going in the house and going to bed. But while I was sitting there the inebriated nasty drunk neighbor came and got literally directly in my face and said to come dance. When I repeatedly told him that I was talking to my boyfriend in the US, even pretending to talk into the phone he just got closer. I got so incredibly angry, he just kept telling me that he wasn’t here so what did it matter. He was so close I almost just pushed him, and I started yelling, and once I did that he got the point. I have just had it, this happens constantly and it makes me so angry. NO RESPECT!!! So at that point, and it was 3am, I went to bed and left them to drink and dance until who knows.
I’ve never been a big New Years Eve person, but I was looking forward to being a part of their traditions, and I sort of felt like I got shafted. Usually I am not superstitious, but I really hope how I brought in 2011 is in no way a reflection of how the rest of the year is going to be!