For some reason unknown to me it seems that, when a Peruvian sees a "gringo" they automatically assume that the gringo would like to obtain one or more Peruvian girlfriends and/or wives. Everywhere we go there are people trying to introduce us guys to young women they know... some of which are eligible. Shortly after we got here we were having lunch with the family of an Adventist pastor and I was asked whether or not I had a girlfriend at home (a common question along with such questions as do you want a Peruvian girlfriend? do you like to dance? etc.), before I could answer the pastor told me that it didn't matter whether I did or not that it would be good for me to have one here. Another time, while we were traveling in Ecuador I helped a lady hang something on a high nail outside her little store; immediately noticing my height she motioned to a girl inside (presumably her daughter) and motioned for me to take her and leave. As I was still chuckling to myself she noticed John who had been a little behind me and she called back farther into the store for another daughter. We continued on (without the girls) but I kept wondering what the mother would have thought had we taken the girls with us and she had never seen or heard from them again. Once again, just today I was told I should marry a particular girl, I looked over at the one being spoken of who was nursing a baby and had an older daughter clinging to her shirt. We were in the poorest neighbourhood I have seen since being in Peru and she was by no means the cream of the crop even there. Her rotten teeth protruded from her half-open mouth at about a 45º angle to her flat greasy face and she was significantly heavier than most people here. But once again, as I walked away with Eber (who I was accompanying to his bible studies) I questioned myself, what might her character be like? How would she look and behave if given the proper love, lifestyle, and home? And the scariest: what would I be like if I had grown up with the same disadvantages in life?
Last Friday night after the house was clean and John and I had both showered I sat down at our table to do some reading and he went to get his recorder. Often, during some of the more peaceful times of our week the sweet notes of favourite hymns from John's recorder float around our house and I was looking forward to listening to him play. He sat back down and got off about three notes before he made one of the most disgusted grunts I think I have heard. When I looked over, both his hands and his recorder were covered with large ants that were quickly exiting from all the finger holes. He went out the back door and tried to shake them off, in the process shaking his recorder apart onto the back porch. After each piece was "clean" he put them back together and proceded to play.