Good news! Marco made it into La Escuela de Guerra or War School translated literally. It is a post-grad course for majors in the Peruvian Army and a necessary step for anyone who wants to move up in rank. He has been in Lima for the past two and a half weeks and is currently on his way back to Lima from Chiclayo where he was able to spend some time with his son. The good news from his trip is that he made it into La Escuela de Guerra and the bittersweet news I that we are definitely moving to Lima next year. I believe Marco has to be in Lima in December and that means that I will only have one month instead of two by myself in Cusco. That is definitely good news. The less time apart the better.
I celebrated Claudio, my guitar-mate, and Carla, his sister this past weekend at a place called Amaru. It was super fun and I sang a few songs with Los Sierra, Claudio’s band. I was going to sing Feeling Good by Nina Simone for Carla but the occasion called for rock and roll, not jazz and soul. We rocked out and danced and had a great time. A little while before that I walked back to my apartment to put my equipment away and I noticed a drunk man lying in the middle of the street. I was talking to Marco and I told him. He told me to alert security and leave him be. I couldn’t let him stay there so I asked a taxi driver who slowed down to just help me move him to the sidewalk. Poor guy couldn’t even talk he was so drunk. I had no worry about danger or him trying anything because he was so uncoordinated. I then told security and they took care of him. It was my good sumartian work of the day.
In other novedades (happenings) the dogs in Zaguan del Cielo are out of control which in turn has caused some of the neighbors to be a bit crazy about their lawns. I was walking Pepe the other day and a señora started throwing rocks at him from her second floor. I yelled at her to stop but she kept going. We moved out of the way and went on our way. Then, another day I was walking Pepe we passed her lawn and she started throwing rocks and yelling at him to leave. I was obviously right there with the leash in my hand. She could have easily just said please pick up the poop your dog leaves but instead I get a “GO BACK TO YOUR HOUSE!” in broken English. At the time, I didn’t have the words I wanted so I just showed her that I had a plastic bag and she calmed down. I told her she shouldn’t throw rocks at my dog especially when I am right there. We avoid he lawn now but honestly, the way she acted makes me want to leave Pepe’s presents on her lawn. I don’t completely blame her because I have only seen one other person (my downstairs neighbors) with their dogs on a leash. Everyone else just lets them run free so they poop anywhere they want. That poop then turns into dust which is tracked into the hosues and get people sick. It’s super disgusting. I try and do my part by picked up Pepe’s poop.
Finally, I have been replacing a flute player at the hotel Monasterio on Friday evenings when he can’t play because of a concert with the symphony orchestra. It is an instrumental and opera show. I play with a piano player that has some trouble keeping time but it’s not bad and it is good pay for the time. I got a little bit of constructive criticism from the flautist who said the opera singers feel that if I am not completely confident in playing a piece that I shouldn’t play it and that I should play with more confidence. It is always super hard to not get defensive when getting criticism but it’s a good lesson. I have had very little experience playing classical music in public. I sing all the time but when it comes to my violin I always get a bit nervous which means I need to practice twice as much if not more to be super confident. This past Friday I think I played much better and it will only continue to get better.
Claudio and I are working super hard on getting a classical and jazz repertoire together so that we can play in more hotels. Hotel Libertador is interested in us and this past week we played twice at Palacio Nazarenas. The pay is good and if we could get a regular gig twice a week that’s easily 620 soles a month. I wouldn’t complain at all.
So that’s what’s happening lately. I hope all is well with everyone!