Sunday, May 23, 2010

Welcome Home!

Welcome to my new home! I will be spending the next month and a half in a quiet, little Inca town by the name of Ollantaytambo. I named the last blog ¨Among the Incas¨, but that title is much more appropriate for this entry!

The 1.5 hour drive to the new home was stunning. Around us were beautiful mountains, crisp blue skies, and the occasional llama of course! The Peruvian landscape is stunning. I have met up with Ashley and Jasmine, the director and assistant director of Mosqoy, and together we made the trip out to Ollantaytambo. The three of us have been arranging and planning the next little while in Peru and the work that needs to be completed.

Ollantaytambo is a beautiful Inca town, with a population of around 2000 people, situated admist Peruvian mountains. The official website of the town definies it simply: ¨There's only town in the Earth of the Incas, where the time took a rest.¨ The Inca water system still runs through the narrow, cobblestone streets, while the Inca ruins remind us of the greatness of the people that walked these very same streets as us, and lived in the very same homes as us. This is my new home. I will be visiting many of the students in the surrounding villages.

I was and still am slightly nervous about spending an extended period of time in such a small place (it could not be a bigger difference from hustle and bustle of living in Hong Kong), but I am looking forward to this challenge. I think it will be a really unique chance to focus on my work, on the Peruvian culture, and on building strong relationships.

We came to Ollantaytambo to a perfect welcome as we made it right in time for a four day festival and celebration in honour of the town Saint- Sr. de Choquekillka. This means that Ollantaytambo is on pause, and a grand fiesta takes over. Almost the whole town is split into 17 groups (dances) and every day we enjoy beautiful costumes, scary masks, delicious Peruvian food, and dances in the square and around the town. Today, we even watched bull fighting..matadors and all! It is absolutely unbelievable ...I still cannot believe I am in Peru. It is really great as four Mosqoy and Education Generation are dancing in the dances and we have had a great time watching them!

In between the attempts at Spanish conversations, festival watching, planning, and Peruvian culture...I snapped some photos. Enjoy:

Our student Ebhert dancing with his group in the square. He is in the middle with the big-nosed mask. This was before he had eggs, water, and a slew of other things thrown at him as part of the dance.

The many masks of the festival.

The residents tirelessly twirl and dance for four days straight. Last night, or well morning, the festival went until 7 AM. As the town is small, we could hear the music and fireworks the whole night. It was the first time I slept with earplugs!

The procession from the Church to the center.

I am contemplating bringing back home a really cool Peruvian mask.
The devils of the festival dance on the roofs.

Bullfighting was part of the festival and we watched in horror, interest, and curiousity as the matadores teased the bulls.

Fighting the sniffles with delicious coca tea while watching the festival.

My new room!


  1. edits:
    "¨There's only A town in the Earth of the Incas, where the time took a rest."
    "It is really great as four Mosqoy and Education Generation STUDENTS are dancing"

    I wish I could see all this. Do a video log next time!!

  2. hahah the first one is not my mistake! It is from the official website!

  3. jevta!

    i'm so glad to see you're enjoying every moment over there. i really wish i could of stayed longer to see/do/experience more! the festival looks amazing, the colors and enthusiasm from the people. keep snapping those photos :)
    i miss coca tea.. can you umm bring a bag full of it home.. don't worry you'll get past customs hehe!

  4. jevta! everything sounds so amazing :) i'm really glad you're enjoying everything so far! and i love your blog and photos!

  5. Dragi Jevto, uzivam gledajuci ove slike, ne razumem dovoljno engleski da bih sve razumela, ali se nadam da ti dovoljno razumes srpski :)
    Uostalom slike cesto govore vise od reci :)
    Zelim ti da taj mesec i nesto provedes sto lepse i da napravis gomilu slika koje ce mi tvoja mama, nadam se, proslediti.
    Tvoja "tetka" Vesna iz Novog sada :D ( ako si zaboravio ko sam, pitaj mamu ) :)))

  6. hahah hvala hvala! pa kako bih mogao da zaboravim ko je tetka vesna!! Mnogo mi je drago da citas i gledas i nadam se da uzivas takodje!

    Ja cu biti u novom sadu ovog leta, tako da mogu i ja da prosledim jos koju sliku! :)))