A very sad time for Peru

08.17.2007

DSCF0267, originally uploaded by iwantchai.

Pictured above is the main church on the square in Pisco, Peru in January 2006 during a funeral procession. As you can see, funerals are very big events in Peru where it is less of a mourning and more of a celebration of the person’s life. Often the entire town comes out on the streets and fills the church during such an event.

This was the case on Wednseday evening when the 8.0 earthquake struck. The church in Pisco collapsed around people commemorating the life of a passed loved one when the church collapsed around them. What remains of the church?

I’ve always said that I’m excited about the idea of earthquakes (being one that is studying geology), but never has one hit “close to home.” I visited the cities of Lima, Chincha, Pisco, and Ica during my trip to Peru and realizing that most of what I saw in the smaller cities to the south (especially Ica and Pisco) is gone…that’s hard. What remains is a devastated community left homeless, parentless, and desperately wishing their livelihoods had not been destroyed so suddenly.

Most of the buildings in Ica and Pisco were simple cinderblock structures that collapsed during the earthquake. It’s really sad to see communities that already had so little now have even less.

I need to track down the friends I made during my visit…I hope they’re all still okay!

AIDS/LifeCycle 2008

08.08.2007

Thanks to Andrew, I’ve finally committed to participating in the AIDS/LifeCycle
in June 2008. I’ll be riding my bike with several thousand others from San
Francisco to Los Angeles over 7 days in an effort to raise money for AIDS
research and treatment.

I suspect that I’ll attempt to organize a few fundraisers between now and then
in San Francisco to help me reach my goal. I’m excited about the ride and a
little nervous about the fundraising. $2500 is a lot to raise!

My number is 1910 (representing the 191 househould):
http://www.aidslifecycle.org/1910