Monday, July 29, 2013

Visit to Wari and Quinua

Today started off normal enough.  We had our coca tea and then left to go into town.  We passed Marcia and Mayumi who asked to have their picture taken.  Who could refuse those two?
When we got to town we spotted Alejandro and the big double decker yellow bus that lives in our yard.  Alejandro is the driver. We went to say hi and asked him where he was going.  He said Wari and Quinua.  Maya and I casually mentioned that we had never been there and before we knew it we were on the bus, with GeGe's blessing to skip work and headed out on an adventure.

The drive was breathtakingly beautiful.  A gorgeous sunny day in the Andes.

 The Wari lived between 600-1100 AD, before the Inkas.  Here are pictures from the museum and the ruins.

 Lots of tuna cactus.
 A sacrificial bed.

 View of the Andes from Wari.

 Me and more tuna.

 We left Wari and proceeded on to Quinua.

 Quinua is significant because in 1824 the Battle of Ayacucho was fought there.  It was the battle that secured the independence of Peru and ensured independence for the rest of South America. In Peru it is considered the end of the Spanish American wars of independence. There is a beautiful (huge) obelisk commemorating the battle.

 Me, you can see my blue bag, on the stairs.

 We invited Alejandro to lunch.  We knew the bus would not leave without us since he is the driver.  He is also the dad at the house where we stay and an incredibly nice man.
 Food and crafts for sale in front of the obelisk.

Quinua is known for its pottery.  The houses all have beautiful works of art on top reflecting qualities of the people that live in them.  For example the churches on top indicate that the inhabitants are Catholic.  There are others pieces indicating that artists live there etc.  The pieces are intricate and stunning.  Here are a few.

 This was for sale in a shop. No I didn't buy it. :)

 Amazing detail

We saw this kitty with such bright green eyes.  Any cat living among so many dogs must be brave.  After our visit to Quinua we got back on the bus and with Peruvian music playing made our way home to Ayacucho.  No picture could do justice to the beauty that is the Andes.
 We returned to Ayacucho very happy for the adventure.  The sun was casting a beautiful light over the square.
Another shot in town Ayacucho.

What a great day and what an amazing world we live in.  We missed being with the kids today but we will be back to the routine tomorrow.  Wish you all could have been with us for our adventure.  Bedtime for me.  Peace and love  C

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fiestas Patrias Feast

Yesterday was our annual lunch and game day in celebration of Peru's independence day which is today July 28th.
On Friday we did all the shopping.  It takes a lot of food to feed 100+ people.  GeGe hires a neighbor lady to do the cooking but everyone helps.
 Rosa chopping onions for the puca.
 Her son Elvis grating the beets that give puca the red color.
 Carrots and beets cooking.
 Peeling potatoes.  LOTS of potatoes.
 Maya getting in on the peeling party.
 Lots of rice.
 The puca almost ready to eat.
Preparing the beet, onions, and carrot salad.

Pork sizzling over the fire.

Time to wash up for lunch.

 Staff serves all the kids.  Here is Maya.
 Amanda runs her own non-profit working with the women in the prison here in Ayacucho.  We were so happy she could spend the day with us.
 Time to eat!!!

After everyone had eaten it was time for chicha morada.  Chicha is a sweet drink made from dried purple corn.  The corn is boiled and then sugar, lemons, cinnamon, and sometimes apples are added.  It is an amazing drink.  Hilda makes it in a large trash can.  Lucky for us we still have some left over in our fridge today.  The kids all had at least 3 glasses and the grown ups lost count of how much we drank.
Hilda stirring the chicha.  
The purple corn cobs after boiling.
  I've had chicha other places but Hilda's is always the best.
Amanda and Maya

After lunch it was time for games.
 Here is a game board that Maya made.  The kids threw balls and tried to get them in the holes.

One of the most fun games is kids blindfolded trying to feed each other this sticky jello/pudding type food.  It gets EVERYWHERE but not much actually in their mouths.  

After an hour or so of games the middle school girls danced for us.  They were adorable.

Yohan getting in on the action.

When the girls were done dancing all the kids starting chanting for GeGe to dance.  How could she refuse?

 Finally it was time to say good-bye.  It was a great day with so many happy kids.

Happy Independence Day Peru!  I feel lucky to be here.  Hope this finds you all well!  C