These photos are leaving and entering our community (in that order).
Due to the tremendous hospitality of our neighbors, today was our first day preparing our own food. We took a mototaxi to the market, which was much smaller than I would have guessed. Glad I'm not claustrophobic. Here's what I learned today at the market and otherwise.
1. Things cost much more here. Some of the non-perishables like boxed milk cost only 10% more, but vegetables were more like 100%+ more. That's because they're all grown on the coast and arrive in Pucallpa on trucks. On my way to the Barranca market I used to pass by fields of asparagus, red peppers, squash, etc. You can even walk out to the fields to glean (legally) if you want after the harvest.
2. You need to wear sunglasses in a mototaxi. The dust is crazy! The mototaxis here (unlike on the coast) are open-air because of the heat. Dust and heat are both becoming major parts of my life. I'm sweeping at least as much here as I did in Puerto Supe (several times a day). The dogs' paws don't help.
3. Dogs aren't normally allowed in our gated community, and our landlady didn't know we were bringing two until we showed up. Good thing she likes Tim so much! Fortunately our scariest dog is also our sweetest. We're training her to go to her crate when someone comes to the door. Today (day 3 of training) she did it once on her own when I didn't lead her there and lock her in! I'm not sure if it was her genius or a lucky accident.
4. A papaya-banana shake is infinitely better with a little maple syrup. 2 apple bananas, 2/3 c papaya, 1 c fresh squeezed OJ, 1/4 c natural yogurt, 1/8 c maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon, and some ice cubes. Yum for 2!! I know that recipe isn't super easy at home, but maybe you can improvise.
5. My closest neighbors are a Chilean and German couple with 2 little blond kids. I'm hoping to strike up a conversation over cheese sometime soon.
Chicks for sale
I'm not sure if this is a shaman stand or a natural health place (and what the difference is). Can you spot the small dried alligator? The dried snakes?