Week 4: The difference

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Well the halfway mark is here! I won't lie, one month would have been enough---but just like how getting on the plane was the difference between talking and doing, staying the extra length is the difference between being a familiar tourist and being successfully and truly immersed in the culture. Even if it wasn't rewarding, it's all going by so fast anyway.

This past week was filled with experiencing famous local traditions, my first (and overdue) tastes of nightlife, and realizing I've already bought so many things that I'm going to have to leave most of my clothes here and arrive in the States wearing a wool poncho. Most importantly, however, is that I've officially finished my Spanish courses and can move on to the service work I've been anticipating! More deets on that---and other changes---next week. 

Visited Qorikancha. Also known as Temple of the Sun, the building was dedicated to "Inti," the "Sun God," and was formerly the most important temple of the Incas. It now houses Catholic art and artifacts, as well as some relics of Incan masonry.
Street vendors have been especially abundant in this festive month of local celebrations.
Best. brownie. of my entire. life.
Thanks to my wonderful friend Regaine for this wonderful shot!
I was lucky to have gotten this frame of the star of the show during the street procession for the city's grandest celebration of the year, Inti Raymi.
I'm sad to say that children here over the age of about two seem consistently untrusting and sad. Unless, of course, they're manning shops or working as venders in the street---which some do till way past my bedtime. Not surprisingly, being accosted by an 8-year-old is not something I find easy to react to.
Our ascent to Sacsaywaman for Inti Raymi took us through parts of Cusco that I had previously only seen as itty bitty houses and streets while sipping my tea in the morning, and flickering little lights on hilltops at night. I appreciated this intimate glimpse of a different part of local life.
Cusco's Cristo Blanco
Entertaining myself by documenting a piece of the ridiculous crowd during the slow-going ceremonial reenactment of Inti Raymi, celebration of the Winter Solstice through offering sacrifices to Inti (mentioned before).
Resting our calves from all the hill-climbing and tip-toe standing we were doing during the ceremony!

Hasta la proxima vez! :)

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