Final Excursion – ¡Carmen!
This past weekend the IFSA group and I went on our final outing together. We bussed 3 hours south of Lima to spend the weekend in Carmen, a small town of 3000 or so whose inhabitants are Afroperuvian, meaning that they are Peruvians with African descendants. These people have and incredibly rich culture and one that is unique to Perú. Our time there was spent learning about their cultural practices, history, and distinct culinary creations.
Afroperuvians take particular pride in their ability to create rhythm through dancing and musical instruments. We learned and participated firsthand an Afroperuvian dance. Sadly, I cannot recall the specific name of this dance because I was resting due to a temporary illness during this portion of the trip. But I did get to watch a group of 6 or so children dance for us in the town’s main plaza (for a small fee of 1 sol per child). Their dancing exemplifies they style of dancing we were taught, which a lot like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPfOyP0WcNk
However, I did participate in the instrumental portion, which involved the cajón – wooden box type of instrument that is drummed with flat palms while sat upon. We learned the rhythms and even got to improvise on our own for a bit! It sounded very similar (although not nearly as good) as this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgI-Ge-lF6U
Furthermore, at the main plaza there were multiple stands selling art and jewelry. But what really caught my eye were the colorful hand-woven baskets. I had not seen anything like them before in Perú!
On Sunday we were taken on a tour of yet another ruins site, much like Huaca Pucllana where the pyramids were made out of dirt bricks. The location could not have been better, overlooking the surrounding fertile crop fields and the Pacific Ocean. What made these ruins unique to the others is the inscriptions that could still be seen on the walls from thousands of years ago.
Again, my sickness hindered me from eating a whole lot during this trip, but one dish that the group got to try is called sopa seca (meaning “dry soup”), which isn’t really a soup dish at all. It’s more of a spaghetti with and orange/red sauce over chicken, onions, raisins, olives, and more. The recipe can be found here: http://perurecipes.net/2008/03/sopa-seca-dry-soup
That pretty much sums up our activities for the weekend. It was meant to be our final relaxation period before the end of the school year…which is coming up incredibly fast! We have a little over a month before the majority of us return home. It’s crazy to think about how fast time flies here!
Attached are pictures from the trip! Questions and comments are always welcome