I have to start this blog post with an apology. I have not posted in awhile because my program is keeping me really busy. Not only have I been having classes but I have also had multiple trips to various sites around Lima and Peru. Which is what this post is about, those trips, of which there is much to talk about.
First off I would like to talk about the trip I took two Saturdays ago to one of the many ruins or Huacas that reside inside of Lima. The Huaca that I went to with my study abroad group is called Huaca Pucllana and it is smack dab in the middle of Lima just off of Avenida Arequipa. The site was once the residence of the ancient Limenos and was a very interesting ruin. The civilization was based around the worship of the sea and was also a matriarchal society. Many of the pots found at the site were able to be restored and depict waves or depictions of sharks, which were a food source used during festivals. The society was interesting because they sacrificed the noble women to the sea. We were shown around by the head archaeologist and it was truly an interesting experience to be in the middle of Lima and having ruins all around you. Standing on the pyramid of Huaca Pucllana and seeing the cityscape around you was a very surreal experience but was also very amazing. It was nice to see Lima making strides in preserving it’s history.
The next trip, and the reason I couldn’t write this past week, was my trip to Cuzco. We left last Wednesday and we didn’t return until yesterday. The whole experience was amazing and I will go into further detail…….now. First when we arrived in Cuzco we went to several of the surrounding ruins such as Saqsayhuaman, Q’enqo and Tambomachay. All of which were incredibly interesting and made you feel really small. Actually the whole time spent in Cuzco and the surrounding parts made you feel small. The mountains are so huge, it was difficult to not feel insignificant at times. During the second day in Cuzco we visited a community of Campesinos that have, with the help of a tourism company, started a self-sustaining farming community. We were welcomed into their homes with open arms and showed around their town, which they were very proud of. We hiked up a big hilltop with them and they spoke to us about how lucky the were that people like us were interested in their town and they spoke to us about the interconnectedness that we all have together. It was a really awesome experience.
That same day we traveled to an orphanage for girls that are in risky living situations, whether that be abusive homes or just incredibly poverty stricken. My group put on three short little songs for the girls those being; Barbara Ann (All three guys acapella), Can you feel the love tonight (Lion King) and Lean On Me. Afterwards the girls put on their own show for us and it was great. They danced to several songs and we got to listen to Barbie Girl in quechua. We then all had a big giant dance party and it was amazing. It was easily one of the most influential moments in my life to date and I really hope that I can find the time to go back again this year.
The next day we went to Ollantaytambo a ruin north of Cuzco which was a really interesting because of it’s backstory. It was originally created by an exhile from the Incan empire who wanted to study the stars. The ruin itself was built to resemble a giant Llama and it had a giant face of the creator chiseled into the mountain face. After our visit to Ollantaytambo we took the train to Aguas Calientes the small village just outside of Machu Picchu.
The next morning we went up to Machu Picchu and it was….indescribable.