Sunday, April 16, 2006

easter sunday

feliz pascua a todos! i am a little bummed out today because after today i will not see my group for a month... which is what i want to do but it will definetely be a little sad at first. on wednesday im getting up early and hauling away with my belongings to a small town called chinchero, about an hour away from cusco on bus. there i will live with a woman named roxana cusacuni and her husband and son (both named roberto). every monday through saturday for the next 3 and a half weeks, roxana will give me knitting lessons for four hours, 9 to 1. Some days we will work in her house and other days we will work in the collective with the other women (excuse me, and two men). at the end of the month i will return to cusco to meet up with the whole group, and then we are off to Ollaytaytambo (where we had orientation) for five days to do our presentations. how the time has flown! Despite the fact that i am sad about not seeing everyone for a while, i am excited to be in a place where i will have zero opportunity to speak english, and i will be working on a project that is just my own. woo! i am nervous about the cold (winter is coming and it is apparently colder in chinchero than cusco...) and the fact that i will be sleeping on the cold floor with my sleeping bag. all worries aside, i can´t wait. i have no idea if there is internet in chinchero, so i don´t know if i will be able to update or not. im guessing there is internet, because chinchero attracts the tourists with all of the knitting stuff, and i know there is a hostel. hmm. we´ll see. i think i will venture to cusco a few times during the month to get books, supplies, and to see the two girls who are doing their projects in cusco, katerin and grace. almost everyone is going to lima. marge is going (project on the afro peruvian community), caro (nutrition), sam (soccer), alison (gay community), kate (urbanization and ruins), chris (elections), shana (japanese community), and dani is going for part of the time to do her project on the jewish community, she is also going to trujillo. grace is doing a translation project in cusco, and katerin is doing something on bilingual education. there are four crazy kids going to the rainforest, katie aka pishtaco to do a photo project, alina to do something with women´s health, charlie with shamans, and joseph is going to study how everyone else´s projects affect the people in the rainforest. and i am all by my lonesome in chinchero, to do my knitting project. i am not 100% clear on what my main point of investigation will be in chinchero. i was going to do something about how tourism affects the products of the knitters, and what happens when i (a tourist) learn how to knit with them and make their products. but, i might be changing my mind to doing more of a testimony of life in chinchero with a photo essay, the products i will (hopefully) produce, and a written essay. we shall see! This past week has been Semana Santa (duh), and there have been a lot of interesting events and processions in Cusco. On Good Friday, there is a tradition of eating 12 different plates of food for lunch. It was crazy! The plates of food were smaller than usual but it was still a ton of food. We ate:

1. Ceviche (raw fish with dried corn, onions, and lemon juice...soo good)
2. Papa Rellena (a small potato filled with fish and then fried)
3. Sopa (soup with a milk base with fish eggs, sea weed, and veggies...not my favorite)
4. Aquita de Maiz (translates as corn water.. but is like a thick puree of corn, veggies, and potato, so good)
5. Pastel de Papas (a type of torte made with potatoes, eggs, and veggies)
6. Torteja de Squash (small fried thing.... sort of eggy and squashy in the middle?)
7. Pan de Choclo (Corn bread, really salty)
8. Arroz con leche (rice pudding)
9. Guisado de pera (Pears cooked in sweet sauce)
10. Pastel (Can´t remember the real name, this type of flat butter cookie cooked in paper, my favorite)
11. Uvas (grapes)
12. Vino (sweet wine, yum)
So much food! It was a lot of fun and really interesting, and we have been having delicious leftovers all week. I havent been able to go to as many as I would like, since we have been busy this week with exams, which are done thank youuu and two papers, which i have to finish today. ahhh. Last night we went to a Cienciano game (the soccer team of Cusco), they played Arequipa and tied. It was a lot of fun, and we made friends with a bunch of little boys and after an hour of hanging out they started asking for money and our relationships got awkward. Well, I have to go finish some papers and get everything set for leaving Cusco and embarking on my journey. Love you all, write me emails!


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