04 July, 2004


Okay, so today was the first time that I have ever caught something that I would eventually eat. Arrived in Chepén this morning and after coffee, cigarettes and bread, I heard this kid, Chris, mention that he was going fishing with some of the locals that work on the project with us. I thought it sounded interesting, more interesting than hanging around the house all day. Plus, there was going to be Chicha, which is Andean corn beer.
Anyway, this chick Jennifer joined us too and we went off in van, similar to the caminetas in Mazunte but again, a van instead of a truck. We met up with the workers, and after sharing beer in the traditional Peruvian way (where there is only one cup and everyone passes it around) we headed off to the river. Gosh, what an experience that was. We got into the water and basically moved plant matter out of the way to get to the fishes and scare them into the net. A couple of times we actually waded through all these plants, stepping on them and tramping them down while at the same time avoiding the trees hanging overhead. It was a lot of fun and we caught some fish at first, most of the small. But it was cool cause we played with the fish and making them kiss "beso beso beso". Then part of the group split off, while Chris, Jennifer and ese tipo Segundo and I cleaned the fish. It was cool, cause the fish kept slipping out of our fingers and we had to pick them back up and try to descale them. Then we cut them open, while they still flopped around, and took out their innards. We actually had to crack their heads open on the bottom, cause if you pulled the gills out pretty much everything else followed. Anyway, the smaller fish were easier cause all you had to do was twist their heads off and squeeze everything out.
I joined up with the other part of the group, who had moved down river from where we were. They were getting good-sized fish. So you know that type of fish that{s always in the aquarium and it stickes to the glass. Well, they had ones twice the size of the ones you find in tanks and we caught at least 20-25 of those, along with some others whose names I forget. But it was cool cause you would shake the bucket and they would all flop around in it in fish-like panic.
Segundo cooked the fish and made a stew with them, including those sucker fish. I actually ate one and they are pretty good, specially since it has an exoskeleton and thus less bones. The stew was delicious too and we ate it with rice, washing it all down with some chicha and another drink that was pretty much grain alcohol. All in all I had an excellent day, and I havent even begun working yet! Gosh, cant wait, except for the 7 am thing, that can wait.


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