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Sunday, May 16, 2010

El Carmen, Perú: Home Away from Home

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I'm in the back, second from the right in the home of the Ballumbrosio family celebrating the birthday of Mamá Adelina Ballumbrosio, second from the left.

El Carmen, Perú has become my home away from home. I have a darling goddaughter in this hub of Afro-Peruvian culture to whose family I cheerfully and joyfully send a money. Money that goes a long way in Perú. More and more people in the community are getting to know me, or at least, have become familiar with my presence. In fact, I'm even flattered that people who didn't have any communication with me on my last trip remembered me upon my return.

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I'm hanging out in front of the home of the Ballumbrosio family where I was staying

There is a drawback, I've found, to all of this familiarity; especially with my reputation as an American with a pocket full of money. Some are begin to think that I'm a walking ATM. One woman showed me her gas and electric bill and asked for help. A young man whom I hired to showed me the ropes around town frequently e-mails me asking for more money. He is now in my spam folder.

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I'm taking my goddaughter Daniela (girl to the far right in red t-shirt) and family and friends to a park and then to dinner in neighboring Chincha Alta.

I thank God that I'm in the position to help others. I feel uplifted when I do. However, since I'm not Bill Gates or Donald Trump (at least not yet--hehehe. There is only so much I can do. Therefore, on my next trip to Perú, my home away from home, i.e., El Carmen de Chincha, Perú I'm going to bring along wisdom and and prayer in regards to my interaction with others.

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Alexandra, granddaughter of the late-great maestro Amador Ballumbrosio who played a key role of reviving and promoting Afro-Peruvian music and dance.