Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Fiesta That Never Ends

I am experiencing, feeling, seeing, and doing things that I have never done before in my life. This trip to Peru and this fellowship have both been incredible experiences...ones that I could not have prepared for before.

Fiesta Choquekillka has finally wrapped up which means that my earplugs can be put to rest. I no longer have to listen to the music every night until 5 AM. But this also means that the grand fiesta is now over. I can best describe the feelings of the town as something similar to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. To those that were not there, I am referring to the spirit that encompassed the whole town. But this description does not do the Ollantaytambo festival justice. As I mentioned before, the WHOLE town shuts down. Stores are closed, hostels have their doors locked, and there is not a restaurant open in town.

Perhaps the most amazing part of the festival was the accepting and friendly nature of all the locals. We would watch and say hello to our students who were keen to take us into their dances and introduce us to their friends. We would often times join the group by the name of Qhapaq Negro to which Raul, the co-founder and co-director of Mosqoy, belonged to. Offers of food and beer could never be refused, and the dancers always made sure we were welcome, dancing, and were well fed. The last night of the festival, there is always a huge procession from the church to the center (where an all night rock concert occurs after). Each group dances along the way showing off, for the last time, their proud steps. Ashley, Jasmine, and I were quickly swept up in the dances, given their heavy hats (which included jewels, sequins, and ... lots more) and we danced the procession away. It was incredible. Along the way, we managed to scoop up a TV reporter, dress her up in the costumes, and dance along the cobblestone streets with our very own marching band behind us.

The whole time I was disbelief at the beauty of life, and realizing that it is the relationships in one´s life that make a person happy.

Ebhert, Mosqoy 1 student, and star of the festival!

Dina and Yolanda, sisters and Mosqoy 2 and Mosqoy 3 students.

Ashley, Jasmine, and I with Mosqoy students and festival dancers. I love this photo. The students are incredibly friendly, welcoming, and nice.

Ashley joined in on the dances. Jasmine and I did as well, but unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of this. Needless to say, I looked very tall.

The many props we had tried out.

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