Friday, July 23, 2010

How long does it take to make a copy? Probably 5 minutes give or take depending on how far you have to walk to the copy machine. What if someone else has the document you need a copy of? Maybe you take a trip to their office, but more likely they will just fax or email it to you.

Getting a copy--this was the purpose of our trip with Doris and Donato who work for the The Mountain Institute in Huaraz. (The Mountain Institute works with local communities on a variety of social and ecological conservation programs.) Doris needed a copy of a document from the President of Huasta, a small community located in a valley surrounded by the beautiful Cordillera Huayash.

We left our hostel at 6am. Once in Huasta Doris met with the President of the community and the Governor of the region to discuss some documents. After the meeting it was time to make the copy, but no one could find the secretary who had the only key to the office with the only copy machine in the community. We sat outside along the road and waited while they looked for the secretary. During this time many locals walked by (some more than once) and stopped to chat—wondering what two gringos were doing in their village. After about an hour they gave up the search for the secretary and the key and decided to drive to Chiquain, a larger town about 30 minutes down the road, and the location of the nearest copy machine. While Doris and the President went to make the copy we waited in the Plaza de Armas and were entertained by a group of preschoolers practicing their drum line routine for the big 28 de Julio fiesta coming up. After about 30 minutes, Doris and the President returned, copy in hand. Success! We ended our trip with lunch at the Huayash Cafe. It was our first taste of Pachamanca, a traditional Peruvian dish baked in an earthen oven. The chicken was good, but the potatoes were some of the tastiest I´ve ever had.

We were finally dropped off at our hostel around 5pm, so our trip to get a copy took about 11 hours. That´s how long it can take to make a copy.

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