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it’s a quiet month here in Barranca. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Peru, making this another stress-free week. Our daily routine of walking to the far end of the beach and back continues to let us monitor all the species of shore birds that are here, as well as the ebb and flow of neighborhood life. The hotel that closed is opening a restaurant on their ground floor. Since our next door neighbor Gaim died and his restaurant, Gaviotas, closed, there hasn’t been a place where people in the neighborhood meet over lunch. This could be the new hangout.

Managing our time, we only go to the market twice a week. It gives us a chance to buy fresh fish along with our fruit and veg. Jonathan is known to the people who sell fish. They call out the species he likes when they see him coming, hoping to sell him a chubby grouper, or a sole as large as a serving platter. It’s best not to look down, as the fish aisle usually has a thin layer of unsavory origins underfoot, but the fish is right off the boats, often still alive or in rigor.

If I am looking for jewelry supplies, elastic, watch batteries, or baskets, I go to those vendors while Jonathan buys meat and veg. I saw a woman with outrageous hair chatting with a friend, and when they’d finished, I asked if I could take a photo. What a look!

Jonathan continued from fish to Adele the olive lady, and back to our favorite fruit stand, across from Pollos Don Goyo, run by our friend Lilliam and her husband. I accepted the gift of a tangerine from our vendor, and we headed out of the market. This year we’ve really become locals, buying a rolling cart to pull along rather than lugging straw baskets of supplies. Now that the grocery store charges for plastic bags, we use our baskets for groceries.

It’s election season in Peru. The president, Martin Vizcarra, dismissed the parliament for corruption, and ordered new elections at the end of January. Candidates have just finished getting their names on the rolls and campaigning is gearing up. Outside Lima, this means lots of new paint on walls. Traditionally, candidates offer to paint large walls with their names and party affiliation. The owner gets the wall painted at no charge, as long as they aren’t sensitive to what the color scheme and logo look like.

Our weekly achievement around the house could be the flowers planted around the trees in the patio.