I'm sorry for not posting in such a long time. Somehow the internet managed to escape me during my last few weeks in Peru. At first, it was down in Villa Rica because of rain storms, then when I returned to La Merced, I discovered that the internet was down in the entire state of Junin. By the time it was up again, we were back in Villa Rica and there was no time to stop in at the cafe to use the wifi. We were going at full speed in order to finish up everything before I headed back to the US.
Fortunately we got a little extra help in the form of my dad, who was able to come visit me during my last week in Peru. It was so nice to show him all the places that I had been and spend the week just hanging out with him. Plus he was able to help me with quite a few things. For one, he actually has a lot of practice with the Canon 7D (unlike me), and was able to give me some advice on how to improve my pictures. (Of course, right at the end of my trip...) He is also extremely observant and was constantly pointing out and explaining the reasons behind various contraptions and constructions of buildings. Without him there, I wouldn't have noticed or understood nearly as much. And lastly, he's pretty good at understanding a language he doesn't speak. There were definitely a few times during the week that my dad understood things in Spanish that I didn't... and he only knows a handful of words in Spanish.
He definitely brought a whole new perspective to my trip and I couldn't have been more thankful that he came. While h was there, he took pictures of everything. His favorite subject, besides motorcycles, were all the unleashed dogs roaming the streets of the jungle. I swear that every time we saw a dog, my dad whipped out his phone to take a picture.... which basically means that he never put it away considering that there was always a dog somewhere nearby. My dad then decided to name them the "lost dogs of Peru" because they always seemed to lack an owner or a home.
Later, when I was talking with my dad about the unfortunate internet situation, he suggested that I too was lost like the dogs. And maybe I was a little lost in Peru due to my lack of internet connection, but in all honestly, I think the title is actually a more fitting description of my first few days back in the US.
I definitely got hit with a serious case of reverse culture shock (if that's a thing). After spending 6 weeks in Peru, I suddenly found myself back in Ohio, on a fairly empty school campus where no one was speaking Spanish, I could flush toilet paper down the toilet, and I didn't have to carry around a 20lb backpack full of camera equipment. Just listening to my friends talk about their past 6 weeks of summer research in the lab was a huge change from talking to farmers about their crops being destroyed from the roya, their struggles with climate change, or their lack of clean water. It took me a few days to readjust to life in the US but now I've found my focus for the next few weeks.
I'm on to shorting through my footage in order to create a few short documentaries about our past month in Peru. The first video, which is about our water project with the Asháninka, is almost complete. Once that's finalized, I'll move on to creating videos about the roya, rains, coffee and farmers.... so stay tuned. I hope that these videos can help me share everything that I have seen over the past six weeks.
This is my first foray into documentary making, and I've learned a lot about what goes into making a good video along the way. Unfortunately, I can already say that there are a lot of things I wish I had filmed while I was in the jungle.
But there's a simple solution to that...
I think the country is calling me back....