The mining strike ended on April 7 as the government agreed to give more recognition to miners. I’m not entirely sure what the details of the negotiations were, but in the end, the miners went home happily and peacefully from Puerto Maldonado. No buildings were burned, and in Puerto, no one was killed. My friend Sarah, whose university in Lima is notorious for frequent and strong strikes, was a little disappointed in how tranquil the strike was, but all in all, I’m glad I have no better stories to tell than “I spent 6 days in doors and ate a lot of increasingly stale bread while watching bad American TV.” I really appreciate everyone's thoughts during the strike - sorry I made folks nervous.
This morning, I’m heading back to CICRA. We have a lot of work to catch up on since we had 10 days with nobody watching the monkeys. I also have a lot of laundry to do!! I am going to be so excited about washing machines when I get back to the States!!
I have 25 days before I leave Peru. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. Days are very long here, but weeks go by before I notice time changing. There are some things at CICRA I haven’t done that I still need to – see Pozo Don Pedro, home of the anaconda. Work up the courage to climb the 60m tall tower. Head out to Segund Mirador and see the capybaras. There are still more monkeys to be trapped, more data to be entered, more focal observations to be transcribed … it’ll be a busy 3 and a half weeks! I’m planning on coming back to Puerto Maldonado on May 3 – a friend wants to take me to see a place where they have lots of snakes, I’ll have a final day of eating marvelous passion fruit ice cream (yesterday I had passion fruit and chocolate chip. Yum!!), and maybe I’ll learn how to drive a motorcycle!
And once I get back to the US, I've got a lot to look forward to. Being home will be marvelous and wonderful, and I just signed up for a Lindy and Blues exchange in my future hometown, Columbus, the weekend before graduation. A lindy exchange is when a bunch of dancers (150 or so in this exchange) converge on one town for a weekend and dance literally the whole time. I'm hoping that I'll meet lots of cool swing dancers and also be able to apartment hunt. If nothing else, I'll know people in Columbus who hopefully wouldn't mind me crashing with them for a few days while I find an apartment. After that, I go back to school and hang out with all of my Wash U friends until we graduate. Then, of course, there's graduation. Then two weeks after that, I head BACK to St. Louis for a blues exchange, where I'll spend the whole weekend blues dancing with some really cool people! Then it's the summer ... and then I can officially become a graduate student. Life is a whirlwind!