Sorry, not much blogging as of late, I’ve been so busy with work and family that I haven’t had much time for it. A while back I contemplated shutting the blog down but Stuart told me that’d be like book burning. Not a particularly good book in this case but I can see his point. At any rate, jungledrums have it that Stuart is a proud new first-time papi so congratulations are due!
Not to change the subject too much but our maid came in this morning with a very Peruvian story. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She rides a “combi” to our house and back – “combis” are Peru’s horrible version of private enterprise public transportation. That’s to say combi routes are assigned by local municipalities to “qualified bidders” and the owners of the route then hire drivers and busses. Many or perhaps most of the busses are privately owned, one-man type operations, where the driver pays a very significant royalty for the privilege of running the route to the route owners. The combis are mostly old and dilapidated and also a favorite hangout of petty criminals, a good place to lose your wallet or cellphone.
All this not to complain about the combis or the drivers, it’s the system that’s the problem but it would take leadership with cojones to fix it.
When our maid passed by a large public school on her way in this morning, a kid in his school uniform jumped out of the combi and ran. He was maybe 8-10 but looked younger. The boletero (the person who rides on the combi to collect fares) ran after him and shouted for his fare. The kid was too quick but when he was out of reach of the boletero he turned around and shouted:
Let the President pay you!!!
Our maid said it was sort of a funny moment at the time but sad when you think about it, the kid is largely a product of his environment and obviously it isn’t good. As a sidenote, public schools in Peru are woefully underfunded and the particular school where this kid jumped out is known as a tough school. The kid’s probably left to his own devices most of the day while his parents are out working just to get by, then he’s in a 50+ class of kids in similar situations.