Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Hello again... I can´t seem to stay away from the internet cafes, so you all might get a VERY detailed report of my peruvian adventures. I probably will have a lot less free time when classes start regularly, but we can pretend. The last two days have been fun. Yesterday we had another "drop off" activity where we had a bingo board, and in every square there was a question about the history of Peru. We had to walk around Ollantaytambo and ask the locals if they knew the answers. Many of the other men and women were well informed of Peruvian history, and then again many were not. I thought about it and if I had to answer questions about US history for a Peruvian I wouldn´t be much help either. So bingo was fun, and then we returned to the house for a looong lecture on contemporary peruvian history, and dinner. Every meal has been amazing. I have had a variety of soups, salads, beans, and of course, potatoes. The corn here is called cholco, and it is different then the corn we have at home. Each cob is massive, about three times the size of our corn, and each kernel is large and has a very thick texture to it. Many people walk around snacking on a half cob of cholco during the day. They also have maiz, which is like the corn we are used to, but cholco is in season now. Last night we watched a peruvian movie called "dias de santiago", and it was amazing. it is an extremely powerful, and sad account of a young guy who is living in lima after fighting in the war against ecuador. I highly highly recommend it to anyone who can find it. This morning we got up around 5:30 to walk along the Urubamba, a river that runs alongside Ollantaytambo. We walked for about an hour and a half, on both sides of the river with our guide Geronimo. Everything was lush and green and amazing, hiking is still a little rough in the high altitude, but we all fared well. There are huge cacti with large flat leaves, and people will carve into them with knives with things like "Freddy and Sandra forever". I thought it was cool looking and romantic but wondered about how the cactus would fare. Today we spent the day doing busywork, signing papers and whatnot, but tonight we are having pachamaca! Pachamanca is a tradional peruvian dish that is prepared underground, kind of like how pigs are cooked on the beaches in Hawaii. You dig a hole, and create a fire in the hole. When the fire is hot you make a stove out of lots of stones, and you wait until they are red hot. You put lots of food in the stone stove, we are having chicken, lamb, cholco, and other veggies. You seal it up with stones and earth and in about an hour you have a delicious meal. I can´t wait. Tomorrow we are hiking up the ruins, and the next day, Macchu Picchu. The kids here are really fun. It is summer here (but doesn´t feel like our summer, i amwearing a long sleeved shirt and jeans as we speak...) so the kids have carnival, which basically means they run around doing whatever they want. This usually entails throwing water balloons at other kids, and the occasional clueless american stuent. I havent been attacked yet, but multiple people on my program have returned to the house soaking wet and laughing. I actually just heard a water balloon crash on the ground, funny. its like playtime warfare. Its easy to fill up buckets, balloons, and handmade super soakers because there are open channels of water on the sides and middle of the streets. I have also not yet fallen in the water channels, but I know it is eminent. Well I think that´s it... i´m going to have a siesta before a clase and then pachamanca.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, Miss Taylor!
I was so excited to read about your adventures in Peru! It sounds like you are adjusting well and staying dry so far! Too bad you don't have one of those super-soakers you and Brandon use to play with when you were wee ones! Do you speak the language? Is it much like regular SPanish? I know they speak Poruguese in Brasil, but not sure what they speak in Peru!

You are a brave young woman! Any unsightly creatures??? I do hope you will visit us here in civilization some day (Las Vegas)!

Stay healthy, happy and well.

Lots of love,
Mrs. fulljames

7:40 AM


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