Yesterday I headed up to the paramo (above the timberline) to plant potatoes with a large group of people from the community. It was quite an adventure as the road up was very bad. It was like an amusement park ride all over again complete with shrieking girls and hysterical laughter. It’s funny that people aren’t concerned about walking up and down the side of a mountain (which is one of my concerns), but every little bump and skid in the road while driving gets them quite agitated. Maybe it was more dangerous then I realized, but it seemed like the driver had control of the car the whole time. It was amazing how many papas we got planted in just one day. Granted there were a lot of people, but the system was very efficient. There were guys making the holes, then people with the papas putting them in, and then people with the fertilizer adding that and covering up the holes. It’s a good thing we got done quickly as it started to pour afterwards (which made the trip back exciting).
One tradition I find interesting is that it isn’t rude here to ask for a doggy bag when you’re at someone’s house. For the first couple of weeks I was stuffing myself trying to finish everything, but now I can just take the stuff back with me. This is also good when they are feeding me pig skin and chicken or cuy entrails as I can take it with me and then feed it to the dog.