July 26th, 2008

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yesterday, i went with my maestra to the fiesta in santiago, in lieu of class. lots of fun. we talked all day, which is what we do anyway, and i got to buy a present for jane's grandson (who might as well be mine, too), and for her. well, it was really for both of us. then we went through the mercado, and maeda (mi maestra) bought a bunch of foodstuffs, including a couple of fruits that i hadn't seen and was able to try (i liked picaya the best), and some beef marinated in lemon, which was delicious. beyond the mercado was the iglesia, a huge stone church that has sadly been plastered over and painted in the last couple of years. it was impressive nonetheless, and there was a carnival set up out front, and a procession complete with graven images and all.

then, the piece de resistance, i got to see maximon, or san simon, as he is sometimes called. he is a large wooden doll who likes to drink and smoke a lot and demands money from all who visit him. for some reason i think it was the shadowy characters seated around him who really like all the above... i gave a couple of bucks and took pics of him and his living friends, along with a jesus statue fully clothed in a glass coffin, and some other statuary. i don't think many touristas get to go there. pretty cool.

today, i climbed 10,000 foot volcan san pedro, starting at about 3000 feet. the view was amazing, and i may never walk again.