Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Holloween in Arequipa

This has been a fun couple of days. Having been here over a week there was the itch to move along but there were lots of new old friends hitting town and I was not going to miss them.

Through sheer luck I met up with Meghan and Sara in the plaza on the 30th. I was drinking a coffee just enjoying the day and Meghan walked by. When I gave her the "psssst, Meghan" she just stopped and looked around real confused. " I dont know anybody here she later said laughing, you freaked me out. Amy wandered by not 10 minutes later so off we went looking for a cold beer. We found ourselves at the Wild Rover hostel. Its new and is excellent. We chilled in the sun, got caught up and made arrangments to meet Jenny and Stuart later that night as they had also hit town. Sitting in a terraced restaurant over looking the park we found Scotland and hailed them over then proceeded to talk and drink until midnight. Its funny, while on the road you meet so many people but some just become friends right away. When you see them after a while its just a sort of comfort and excitment that you sometimes need. Coffee the next day and Jenny got her tattoo then holloween in the streets of Arequipa that night

Holloween night on a rooftop terrace overlooking the plaza. Sara, Stacey, Jemma, Ken, Meghan, Jenny and Sara. GVI Ecuador reunited. There was a little GVI talk and not surprising not much good to say about thier experiences. There was also great support for my descion to leave but that is now closed.

In my time with GVI I have found more negative experiences then postive. Lots of feedback forms go in but they are ignored. Volenteers obviously come and go so no need to change. The challange will be that word will start to filter through the travellers community about all these negative experiences and volenteers will look for alternatives, and there are plenty. One school has already shut down with another ready to close. Staff the keeps a wall between them and thier team, arrogant one dimensional thinking and a huge sense of entitlement. The ongoing need for multiple fund raisers in every country also seems to point to the reduction of cash flow. Good luck GVI, I think you have tough times ahead. Listen to your volenteers. They are the lifeblood and spend alot of money to be a part of your organization, even for a short while!!!

Ok, I got that off my spleen. Holloween night was insane. I think every person who lived in Arequipa were on the streets. People dressed in every imaginable costume, kids, parents and of course protesters. What would a great Latin American Celebration be without them.  Hard core christians screaming and chanting that we were all celebration Satan. There was a small confrontation between them and some rather beligerant types but out of nowhere large amounts of security appeared. This was going to be an interesting evening.

Hanging around the square watching was fun, but now it was time to dive right in. Holy crap there were alot of people..and as much dope if you wanted it. "Amigo, mariguana, hashish, cocaine" rang out like church bells on sunday morning.

It was random chaos but in a fun Latin American way. I love this area of the world for that reason. Everyone is out with thier kids celebrating and just enjoying the night. Not a bottle of beer to be seen and no real sloppy drunks either. I believe the police presence had alot to do with that..and they dont fuck around down here when you piss them off.

off to Chile tomorrow..

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