Semester End Round Up Special: Host Families Part II

Hello all, and welcome to the exciting part II of my Semester End Round Up Special! I shall continue where I left off on the first post. I will now discuss the issues my host family seemed to have with other minority groups aside from just Jews and homosexuals. My host-father (remember, a medical doctor) on many an occasion enjoyed discussing with me the physiological curiosities of the Negro race. Being a member of aforementioned Negro race I found this a little uncomfortable. I suppose upon his finding out that my concentration is physical anthropology, he figured that I would have all sorts of fascinating insights as to why all of us blacks are densely muscled, thick boned, lumbering creatures who, being the least evolved flavor of homo-sapiens are best in touch with our primitive sides and therefore excellent drummers, athletes, and dancers. Alas, having no access to a time machine and therefore being unable to travel back into the 1940s when this sort of theory was popular within the discipline, I was unable to help him.

They were furthermore a unfond of Asians. They viewed them as strange and exotic creatures, highly disciplined but unfortunately squinty eyed and ugly. The host mother had a conversation with me regarding how, while she did not particularly dislike Asians, she found the quite esthetically unappealing, a little frightening to look at,  and could certainly never have any form of carnal relations with one. The host father would routinely use racially based insults when discussing the controversial former president Alberto Fujimori. This was also quite awkward.

Furthermore, they were not at all fond of indigenous individuals. In public, my host father would often point out (like literally point at) a particularly indigenous looking person and discuss with me the short comings of the Indigenous race. He would routinely tell me how ugly and stupid they are. This, was also rather uncomfortable, and I pointed out that while they may look different from him, that does not mean that they are ugly, and that a lack of access to education due to institutionalized discrimination does not mean that they are naturally unintelligent, and also that pointing people out and insulting them in public is generally considered impolite.

The family was also highly anti-American. Being the loyal American that I am, this irritated me considerably. They made it their mission to "educate" me about how the world really was. This involved detailed discussions of how basically American imperialism was the cause of literally every single problem in the world today and that Peruvians are better than us at everything (as clearly evidenced by their highly refined views on race and ethnicity, as well as their incredible industrial/technological/military power). They also loved to make absurd comparisons to the prices of specific goods and services in the USA and Peru and use it as evidence that Peru is actually economically stronger somehow (Ah, I read that a parking space in Lima, Peru costs more than one in Maza, North Dakota, who really is rich and who is poor Christopher). Furthermore, during their routine USA bashing sessions they enjoy belittling any accomplishment the United States had ever made. A wonderful example of this can be seen when the host-grandmother told me that the only reason the USA had been to the moon is not because we are smart, the Peruvians, of course, are the smartest, but because we have large amounts of money that we gain by bullying the rest of the world (because obviously the lunar missions were conducted in space ships made entirely out of tightly interwoven dollar bills and fueled by a highly compressed coin based fuel).

Recently, upon my response to a question about how the use of the military to quell civil unrest in the United States compares to its use here in regards to a recent incident in which a Limenian district was conquered for the day by soccer hooligans, they once again took it upon themselves to "educate" me. I said that military force is rarely used to quell civil unrest in the USA except in the case of large scale terrorist attacks and natural disasters due to a large police force, thought it is on occasion utilized, and was used considerably during the civil rights movment. This answer, alas, was not satisfactory to them. They diligently went out to look up some form of civil unrest in the United States to correct my manner of thinking. They managed to stumble upon the story of of the recent shootings in Oregon and have mocked me for my arrogance ever since. When I responded that a tragic, yet isolated shooting that was quickly resolved did not quite constitute a large scale lack of control, they simply laughed at me and warned me not to let any of the bullets flying from Oregon hit me as I walked back to my room that night. This, I found particularly inappropriate and insulting.They have told me many a time that I am a brain-washed imperialist which I also do not particularly enjoy.

In conclusion, while there are many positive aspects about my host family here, there are many negative ones as well and I would strongly recommend not living with the Price family should you decide to study abroad in Lima (which I would also not recommend). Furthermore, due to how much it costs to live with a host family (roughly 500 dollars a month), and how they are not always the most pleasant individuals, I would have to say that I would instead recommend finding an apartment with a group of  other students instead. Even after food and utilities it would be much cheaper and you would be able to enjoy the company of exchange and native students in a relaxed, fun, and more accepting atmosphere.

Until next time,

Christopher Moore

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