Random Thoughts (Really just some more pictures)
My explorations have been curtailed a bit as I am nursing my foot-it has to be better in time to do the Inca trail in three weeks. Consequently I am not roaming around the city as much as I have the past two weeks. A taxi now gets me to and from the project minimizing the time on my foot and simultaneously removing any possibility for new discoveries. I hope to be back in exploration mode next week (the many unidentified wonders of the food market are still waiting for me!). In the meantime I thought I would share some of my random pictures, each of which will hopefully provide a glimpse into life here in Cusco. This entry will be somewhat more disjoint as compared to the others as the focus is each photo rather than a coherent theme.
As I have mentioned before the streets in the old city are very narrow, allowing passage of only one car at a time. Consequently most of these types of alley-streets are one way only. There are several, however, where there are no signs indicating which direction traffic should flow. I have surmised that the absence of a sign indicated that potentially two way traffic is allowed. That thought led to the question of what would happen if cars going in opposite directions came head to head in these narrow passageways. Well last weekend, as I climbed down the steps from Cristo Blanco and was threading my way through the confined backstreets of the old city, I came across an intersection where three cars were nose to nose, each blocking the other. I stopped for a second to watch what would happen. They all seemed to stare at each other for a moment and then two of them started to move out of the way. One simply backed up and the other started a complex three point turn kind of maneuver in order to create enough space to let the third car pass. It was highly entertaining and answered my question about rules of the road in alleys in Peru.
Saturday morning, this past weekend, Carrie and I got up early to meet Daniel, the house father where she will be living in a few weeks. He offered to take us on a hike in the hills around Cusco, but first we were going to play soccer with him and his friends. (OK, I confess, this is where I hurt my foot and thus did not get to hike!) We were meeting him near the San Pedro market, the big market in town I have posted photos of earlier. We were supposed to meet him at 7am so we arrived at the market as it was getting set up for the day. There was a beehive of activity. People were emptying cars of all kinds of produce and items which were to go on sale as soon as the market opened. Others were moving things from one place to the other. Carrie managed to snap this picture of a guy, who clearly must work for a butcher, or was on the way to a butcher. Along with the nuns playing volleyball this is a scene I never, ever thought to see simply because it never crossed my mind you would move a piece of meat around on your shoulders. Go figure….
There are great views of the city and Carrie snapped this as we were walking home from dinner one night. You can see the main cathedral in the square defined by lights as well as the square itself. Very pretty. The views are always great and never old.
Our volunteer project is going well. I have stabilized at five students and continue to learn Spanish with them as I teach English. I brought with me some of the “Dick and Jane” books that we all know so well from our early school days when we were learning to read. We were working on reading and pronunciation when this picture was taken. I have discovered that the “th” sound in English is very difficult for them as is the “rrr” sound in Spanish for me. Practice, practice, practice….
We have really been enjoying our work with the grandmothers. They have warmed up to us and when we walk in the complex before our lessons with the girls we get smiles and waves and “hellos”. When they start filing into the cafeteria we get hugs and kisses. They are really sweet. I mentioned before that we had them dancing and they really enjoy that. The music varies, but that is not the important thing- the dancing is. I feel like an amazon when I am around them because I am so tall and they are so little. I have to bend over to try and hear what they are saying.
A picture of most of the members of our active group. We can communicate more clearly with some than others but they all have a great sense of humor and are enjoying our time together, as we are.
We also have discovered that they like to draw and color so we are adding that to our bag of tricks. This is a picture of Camilia. She is very sweet, always happy and smiling but cannot talk. She tries very hard, moving her mouth and waving her hands but I never understand what she is trying to communicate. Rather than getting frustrated she just laughs. She is one of our active group members and here she is drawing. They really are special people!!!