By Kimi McBryde, 2013 Teen Science Scholar
August 7th, 2013
Another early morning, still wasn't feeling great. Made myself eat breakfast and then piled into the van with everyone else. It was the same morning occurrences as before, and it has mostly turned into a routine. After we picked up Nayo and Paolo we attempted to return to site 44 by some different roads so that we didn't have to walk so far from the van to the site. In doing so, we got lost and the driver kept getting the van stuck in the sand because he would slow down and basically stop. So we drove through lots and lots of cornfields, and we attempted to get closer to 44 using the GPS unit on the iPad which worked for a little while. Eventually, we ended up stuck, and 15 km from 44.
At this point, my already unhappy body was feeling worse because of the drive out there and the terrible driver, and Michele was also feeling pretty crappy. At one point, Michele just got in the drivers seat of the van and actually got it unstuck, but the driver got irritated with her because the engine got hot. They finally got the van out of the sand, and up to a place where there was a dirt road, not sand. Clare, Lauren, and Airielle had stayed in the van as added weight for traction, but everyone else was walking. I had moved up to the middle of the drivers row where Ari usually sits because of the better air, space, and view of the road.
A little ways back down the road we came from, Michele and Ari spotted a huge wall and we stopped there. Lauren, Michele, Ari, Mr. Police Man, and I all got out and it was decided that we were going to track the wall and the surrounding fields. Everyone else was sent in the van back to the parking spot from yesterday to get to 44 and continue work.
Apparently, in the process of being sent back to the site to continue work, the van got stuck again and they weren't able to go anywhere for an hour. Sounds like Clare and Airielle got the guys working at about 12:30 and we got back to the site at about 3:30.
While Clare and company had been dealing with the driver and the stuck car, we were hiking/walking across the desert. Overall, we hiked 16 km (10 miles) across the desert. We came across a lot of old fields and piles of rocks that looked to be corners of settlements, potential housing, etc., but in essence we found a lot of cool stuff that had never been mapped before.
When we got home, we threw on some layers and Lauren and I went down the block to the bodega in Magdalena. As soon as we walked in the guy started talking to us in Spanish. One thing that is really different here is that people use race as a major identifier and it's not considered racist, it's just another descriptor-both Lauren and I are considered 'chinitas' because we look asian (and are). So in the bodega, the guy strikes up a conversation which was very hard to keep track of because he was speaking really fast Spanish. He asked us where we were from, we told him America. He gave us this funny look and said, "¿Chinos en America?", and then asked when we had come over from China (neither of us are Chinese). We tried to convey that we lived in the U.S. and were from there, not from China. He then asked if we were sisters, using Spanish, and we told him no, we are friends. Another funny look. He then turned to a kid sitting by the door who apparently knows English and the boy said sisters. The guy turns back to us and asks again, are you sisters? Same answer-still no.
While in the bodega, we found these little glass bottles of Inca Kola that I wanted to bring home because they are so much cuter than the soda bottles. When we brought them to the counter, the lady behind the counter was trying to tell us something about the bottles and the guy brought over a soda bottle to accompany her explanation. We had no idea what she was saying. Turns out, with the glass bottles, they usually open the bottle for you at the counter, and you drink it with a straw there. End result: they can reuse the bottles. Oh well, still bought the glass bottles because we didn't know any better-and I wanted the glass bottles not the plastic bottles.