06 August, 2004

And all the Americans sang "I Will Survive"

So, the past two days have been spent on my butt in a most uncomfortable chair listening to presentations on all things Moche. And boy is my back killing me...but its been an interesting experience, especially since these past days were for the first ever conference for the newest generation of Andean archaeologists working specifically with the Moche. This is my first conference ever and see, in the academic world half your time is spent attending this conferences where everyone gives papers and presents what they have been working on, and in response your peers can question/cheer/support/heckle you. And everyone does this, from archaeologists to cancer biologists (although with the philosophy and divinity crowd Im not so sure....do philosophists have conferences?).

Many of the grad students I have met during my time here in Perú presented, and it was fun to see what they were up to you and some of the ideas that they had, some of which challenged the "dominant" thinking...like Steve's presentation, where he cautioned against making false demarcations between "cultures" in time especially if such changes occur within a single generation because in effect, the people are still the same...he actually called it "The Day After Moche", sort of a play on that stupid weather orgy movie that came out recently (I know I dont have to mention it explicitely) and also a reminder that the day after moche was the same as the day before...again that false demarcation stuff.

My former professor Ed also presented, actually he was the last one yesterday to go...immediately afterward I ran down to congratulate him and then lob missles about what he had just spoken about..."Really Ed, do you think..." but it was fun. He kept telling people that they were good questions, and I was just like, "Well, what do you expect from a UC student...." blah blah blah. It was cool, I had a great time.

Afterwards I went with Ilana, Coleen and Gwen back to their place as Mafe had to help L.J. with his presentation. We watched TV a little then met up with some other folks and went to the Café La Paz as they had excellent Cálido Ambiente which is hot wine with rum and an orange slice in it- its so delicious and perfect for the chilly Lima winter. Gwen was leaving that night, her plane was supposed to take off at like 1:30 in the morning- which is just a horrible time to fly- so we walked back to the hotel and said our good-byes. We took off then cause everyone was supposed to met up and go drinking and dancing in celebration of the young investigators conference (english translation of the spanish name, sounds kinda funny right?) but this being Perú and all it took nearly an hour to decide where everyone (and everyone being a huge group of people, which is awfully difficult to coordinate) wanted to go...and first it was one place and then another. And this being Perú and Ed and his friend John being American they showed up at the original spot around 10, and no one got their asses in gear until 11, so poor Ed and John left before they even got a chance to hang out...

...Which was disappointing cause we ended up having a lot of fun, minus those peruanos superbarrachos (super drunk peruvian men). We went to one place, some had beers others had pisco sours. At some point the decision was made to go dancing and we swtiched beers. I have to say that the highlight of the whole evening was when they played "Stayin Alive" and then, the grrl power song of all grrl power songs, "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor...and of course all the American girls (Coleen, Ilana and I) and Mafe just broke out singing at the top of our lungs....and we knew all the words!!!

I dont think we got home till real late, except now I am up so we can go to the other half of the Moche conference, the one for the old fogeys. Should be fun... and this time I will be taking notes!


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