Thursday, July 24, 2008

I fought the law, and the law won...

I thought I would start the post off with a bang... me riding a llama!! Well, I not so much rode the llama, but I sat on it to take a picture and the llama moved a little... That's riding a llama, right? Yes. So, that was super fun. However, I had a very large mix of good and bad up at Llanganuco, where I was doing extreme interviews!! I did a lot of interviews the first day, which was good because not so many the second day. I got escorted from the park because I did not have a permission slip from the National Park Office. Now, the funny thing is that our whole research team actually does have permission from INRENA. I explained that to the guy that we're actually working with INRENA on the project, but he refused to listen. I got put in this little office while he made phone calls and all told, from the moment he first started talking to me to my oh-so-dignified expulsion from the lake area, I would say he wasted about an hour of everybody's time. The funny thing is that I think if he had actually called his supervisor and discussed everything I told him to mention. I told him my name and that I was from Ohio State. I gave him Bryan and Jeff's name. I should have dropped the big Marco Zapata's name, but I was not sure if he would rescue me or be mad that I involved him. I am part of the group, but I am not sure that he likes what I am doing. That and his accent is just a bit off for my poor deaf ears, so I am always struggling to understand him, which to him means I do not speak Spanish. However, when he called his supervisor, he refused to mention my name or any of the others, only calling me "la gringa," and repeating over and over that I did not have permission. I calmly said that I did have permission, just not a written slip, but he REFUSED to say it to his supervisor. BLEH.

So, as I sat in the little room, wondering if I was going to be arrested for something so incredibly stupid, I tried to be as polite as possible. If you are nice to them, they should be nice to you, right? Looking back, however, I think if I had gone more Peruvian style, it might have been more appropriate. If I had just refused to comply and freaked out, become a totally rude bitch, it probably would have gone better for me. However, I was worried about getting arrested... Which, honestly, never would have happened, but my imagination was running wild.

Well, anyways, today is a day of dealing with nasty, little, power-tripping bureaucrats to get that statistics book and my permission slip. Ugh. Also, my banana is orange. (I know, such a non sequitur, but I opened it, and there was this orange thing that tastes funny...) However, once I get that permission slip, I can go up to Llanganuco again one of the days this weekend and finish my interviews there. Although, part of me wonders if I should spatially diversify my sample more... However, there is not good spot to find tourists in Chavin. There is a waterfall location that could be ok, but I don't know and I don't want to make assumptions while most of the tourists are already here!! Well, that is actually probably more than any of you care about, but it is on my mind...

Anyways! Here is a video of me getting dropped off at the top of this mountain, forever and a day away from the lake. I kept telling the guy that I wanted to interview tourists, but he kept saying that there were no tourists at the lake then (probably right), but there was a really good view (very much right) up just a little bit higher (very much wrong...). I don't know it at the time of the video, but I had 2.5 hours of walking until I got to the entrance to the first lake. I also ended up with 8 bug bites, stepping in cow poo, getting a LOT of dust in my eyes from all the wind, and smelling kinda bad all before I saw my first tourist for an interview... As you can imagine, I was not very happy. However, at this point, I do not yet know about what's to come, so it's still pretty positive.

Fun, right? Whooo!!! This next video was taken 15 minutes later, still very positive!! It's a bit silly, but self explanatory. Enjoy!!

Now, there are 2 more videos in this series. I thought it would be cool to have more video diary kinds of things going on. However, one of them is just me whistling as I go down the path. I thought it was really fun at the time, but now, it's not so cool. The last one is after 2 hours of walking and still not being close to the entrance I needed to get to. It is a desperate plea for help that actually hit a little too close to home. It includes the desperately asked question, "Why is that nothing can ever go as planned here?" Little did I know that question would have a whole new meaning after the next day there... However, even if I never really almost got arrested, that's the story I'm going to use to build up my rep. :)

Anyways, I love you all and miss you TONS!!! Please feel free to post comments. I really like reading people's reactions/thoughts to everything.

Ps. I was amused by all three of today's iGoogle quotes of the day:

There is no reciprocity. Men love women, women love children, children love hamsters.
- Alice Thomas Ellis
That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.
- Paul Valery
A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of.
- Burt Bacharach


Sandip said...

stick it to the man! give that guy hell when you have your pass and you're up there again! jerk!! great job with your interview count. very impressive with all the trouble you've had so far. keep up the great work. love you, miss you!

Sarah said...

oooh, I totally lied. Huascaron is the 4th highest peak in South America. Bad Geographer!!! I blame the very high altitude and lack of internet access...

AJ said...

A big MEH to the park guy idiot. Beautiful waterfall and mountains. I like how you add videos - very cool.