Clara AYP: Sacred Valley Stories and Lake Titicaca
A lot has happened in my first month in Peru, and every day reminds me of how happy I am to be here! Let’s start with the least Mosqoy-related, yet very important topic (sorry, I’m German!): Germany won the World Cup for the fourth time on Sunday. The entire center of Cusco was celebrating. It was a great moment. But no more soccer now.
Erick and I have made much progress with our home visits. We have had a lot of fun and exciting experiences during our stays in different communities all around the Sacred Valley. We were not only amazed by the stunning landscapes, but also by the spirit of the people we met on our way. Each one of the students’ families has welcomed us warmly, served us traditional food and shared parts of their life stories with us. Marilyn’s father spent half an hour telling us the tale of the Mermaid of Tanccac and the lost son. The next time we came to the community, we met her entire family working the fields with bulls and wooden instruments I had only ever seen before in agricultural museums. Orlinda took us on a walk through the village and showed us her farm. We also took Mototaxis to go to Karina’s community, the smallest so far. Some trips were very Latin in the sense that we got there and people had forgotten about the appointment, the time, the day. But they were still a great opportunity to see the community, the houses, the landscape, and of course, the ruins that are spread among the Sacred Valley mountains.
Furthermore, we have welcomed a new student in the house. He is still very cute and shy, but we can all imagine him “waking up” in a few months, just as his cousin Raul did. The environment in the house is good. It feels to me like it has even improved in the past weeks with all the laughter, weekly high-fives and enjoyable moments we are all sharing in Casa Mosqoy.
What else has happened? Well, I got to see Puno and three islands of Lake Titicaca, a place I never imagined I would ever get to in my life. It’s one of those destinations you hear about when you’re little, think how far away it is and then forget about. But, been there and loved it! I travelled with an agency that needed a video and pictures of the trip. My friend and I took care of that and travelled for free, in exchange. It was so worth the work! We left Cusco on Friday night, got to Puno the next morning and hopped on a boat to the floating islands that the indigenous inhabitants build out of reed. They also use these reeds to build houses and boats. After a reed boat ride, we went to another island and hiked up to Pre-Incan (yes, even older than Incan!) temples. We finally reached Amantani Islands, where we met our host families, went on more hikes, participated in traditional dances, and spent the night. The next day, there were more tales, more boat rides, spectacular views, and great food on different islands. It was a great trip, with so many beautiful places and nice people. That all completely made up for the freezing weather and the cold I still haven’t gotten rid of!
I can’t wait to see more of this beautiful country and tell you about it in a few weeks!