Hello best and brightest.
So here's a summary of the past six weeks or so of my life: my pata pata Sophie came to visit me and Rachel; we threw her in a bus to Lake Titicaca and then essentially abandoned her on a farm for a week; we all came back to Lima, and I spent a few days breathing and dancing and experimenting with Yuyachkani; we hopped on a plane to Medellin, Colombia, where we reuned with several of my best buddies from college; there, my friend Rebecca got married to a lovely young man named Walter; Rachel and I came back to Lima and ate a lot of good food with her sister Claire and her uncle Norm; and also I started teaching two theatre workshops.
Life is great when you get to go on so many vacations.
Well, normal life is good, too. But before we get to that, here are some pictures from the above-mentioned adventures.
At the Santa Catalina Monastery in Arequipa, reconnecting with those Sacred Heart roots.
We went hiking in the Canon del Colca, the second-deepest canyon in the world (deeper than the Grand one) (it was a pretty good hike).
We spent several days with two communities of Suma Yapu, a network of families and an organization that's working to preserve farming, cultural, and medicinal traditions in the Lake Titicaca region. They don't have a lot of info in English on the web, but there's some info about the organizers in this Spanish-language documentary, and I can pass information on to anyone who might be interested in visiting and learning from members of their communities.
Here, Gladys, Roxanna, and Martina taught me how to make waha (watya/Pachamama), an amazing, natural oven. We threw in a bunch of potatoes and some straw, got a good fire going, collapsed the walls of the oven, waited an hour, and then dug up a feast of sweet, delicious papas. Yum.
Speaking of potatoes, they grow over 130 varieties of potato in the community of Rio Saltado alone. Know how many we grow in the US? About five. Five! Don't believe me? Read this and weep.
Juli was beautiful and cold. So, so cold. I heard later that it got down to -10 degrees celsius at night, or 14 degrees fahrenheit. I'm glad I didn't know how bad it was at the time.
Rachel's host-mamita Esperanza and two of my host-mamitas, Martina and Brigida, prepared an amazing feast of potatoes and various spicy salsas. This was unbelievably delicious for all of us who enjoy eating potatoes, which is to say, for everyone except Sophie.
Then Rebecca and Walter got married!
We were faklempt.