Sunday, May 16, 2004

So i'm back with more photos of lousa and paco!

before we went on the hike lousa and i visited washi one day in ollantaytambo. we even got to swim in the river with inner tubes and washi and his brother roger.

we liked to come here for good coffee!

we could always find paco by the computer and lousa with paco.

i took these shots of my new shelf and couch from lousa and paco!

this picture is also with margaret, lousa and paco. margaret's from australia. she's an artist and a teacher. we met at my friend's school and immediately connected. she might come back to work with kids here...

so thats it for now. i go up tomorrow to sipascancha for the week and need to get up early. then i want to post pics of the inca trail with diana and paul!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

lousa and paco

i met lousa one day in the plaza. she had been watching me to make sure i was someone safe. unbelievably she is a prison guard in holland, hence her skills at reading people...i'm so glad she asked me for a light that day in the plaza! she was here for 6 months and her husband came in january to spend her last 3 months with her because he missed her so much. talk about sweet. she was a short and pretty nad of indonesian descent and he was this tall cute dutch guy, a straight talking sweetheart. his name is really remko but the peruvians couldn't pronounce it so he was renamed paco. lousa and i went on a great hike together back in november i should say i hiked because i hate horses and lousa went on horseback with our friends from ollantaytambo. we still laugh about my even refusing to get on the horse to cross a creek. i opted to take off my shoes and socks and walk throught the freezing cold waterrahter than get on that damn horse. i didn't get to spend much time with her in january as claude and brigido and i were on the go and not often in cusco. february i was at the beach. but i spent lots of time with them march and april. and it's paco we can thank for my computer running. when i finally got the phone and internet lines installed, i was mortified to discover my computer wouldn't work once on line!! i met paco and lousa in the plaza that night for dinner and told him all about it. he later said he was prepared for this fiasco. so he spent literally hours on my computer and discovered 4 worms and a bunch of viruses. we listened to him periodically say, "oh fuck, no!!", when he found another problem, and then there was the "oh, aren't i great?!", when he fixed something. and when they said things in dutch, i really knew there was a problem. but he fixed it all and its him i can thank for being able to work from home on the web page, not to mention my correspondence. and the last month they were here their friend daphne came from holland. i wish i had a photo of her! she is a tall, dark haired, fair skinned beautiful dutch gal. really hilarious person and lots of fun. and she cut my hair for me. and even with the lousiest scissors she did better than the guy i had been going to!

lousa and i headed off for our 3 day trip in the rain!

these ruins were near our first camping spot.

lousa took this. we thought it was funny to have all these warnings inside the tent about having a fire in the tent. but it did make it warmer!

the warning!

we had sambino with us and he was always way ahead of us with the packhorse. the 2 horse didn't get along...

lousa and her horse. (forgot his name!)

me on the trail.

washi, our friend and guide on the trip.

heres the gang, sambino, alex, lousa, me and washi at a spot for the second night.

i arrived last to the spot for our second night nearly crazy from hunger and climbing. when i arrived, lousa thought it was funny i said, " donde ests mi almuerzo!!!" and here is alex preparing it.

we were her the second night. we awoke to frozen ground and tents!

this girl was in and out of the trees around our site and very shy. she finally came down to show us her weavings. of course, i bought one.

llamas on the trail as we leaving. now, lousa and i have a huge collection of our own postards of llamas...

heading back to weot the 3rd day.

we met up with this woman on the way back to ollanta. she was carefully mixing llama shit into a small garden plot. when we stopped she wanted to shake all of our hands!

these kids we met on the trail and i gave them some balloons.

when we arrived to the town of weot we waitied for the combi to come and get us at this woman's house. she put together coca leaves, flowers, and then went to bruy it outside after thanking pachamana for a safe trip for all of us.

more later...
So this brief posting will be in honor of one of my best friends who wanted to see what is the uglier side. but i have to say as you look at these, remember its the combination of the culture, the ancient ruins, the music, the mountains, and most importantly the people who make peru so special.

in a structure on the floating islands, leftover food.

garbage and kids nearby playing.

i think i took this in ollanta. we are in a restaurant and eating next to this mouth. the owner later took a machete to it.

i think this guy is drunk.

percy, my dear, this is the courtyard of my apartment...


These next couple of postings will highlight visits of my friends, trips we've taken and people i've met. i have had it in my mind to make these postings even tho some of them actually happened sometime ago! so first, way back in november al and virg came to visit from portland. then in january, brigido and claudia came from astoria, oregon, and most recently, ie., just this week, diana and paul came from dalton gardens, near cour de'lene, idaho and we all did the inca trail. and theres lousa and paco from holland, ramon's family in trujillo, and ruth from the NGO i'm working with.


i know al and virg from a group i have been backpacking with from the states. they are quite a pair. al is known for singing old little ditties along the trail, putting rocks in people's packs, and prodding people who are afaid of heights up ladders. and he always knows when somebody needs to hear an encouraging word along the trail. and virg, his wife, is hilarious. she has a huge heart, as does al,and opens up her home to all of us at thanksgiving. when they came in november of last year, i was horribly lonely and COULD NOT wait to see them! i wish they could have been here longer! they were on a group tour and only had a day and a half with me! we met the night they arrived and i surprized them in a restaurant. that was cool. (its always cool to see someone you know when you're out, let alone, someone from home!) the next day we went to the market and walked about town. at the market, i took them to the local part. which is a bit on the dicey side. and would al listen to me about carrying a big backpack??? of course, not!! so a policeman stopped us to make sure we knew it was indeed dicey, and i told him i knew the market and would keep an eye on my friends. we went to the plaza and i left them for a short while. when i came back a little old woman was sitting next to them. i've forgotten her name. but let me tell you she is known for picking out the tourists and starting up a cheery conversation, only to ask for money afterwards. usually included in the conversation, is the question, "why don't you have babies?", as she mimics holding a baby in her arms, with this huge toothless smile and wrinkles you can't believe. she does it well. and from 11-2 in the afternoon usually! so i arrived to her visiting with my friends. and of course they were in love with her as everyone is who meets her, after of course they see her go to the next bench with tourists and watch the replay! i think al has a picture of her. then he fell asleep and virg did everything she could to keep the kids from waking him to clean his shoes. hilarious; you would have had to been there. that night we had dinner with their group and i was thrilled to find out everyone was from oregon. even a physican from eugene, emma junior. so i happily spoke in english about where i was from and what i was doing here. and later a number of them donated to my fund for christmas! and al and virg also donated. when they left, i was back to being alone, but seeing them was a highlight.

Claudia and Brigido
well claude and brigido go way back. i first met claude right after mica's birth in astoria. she too had had her son at home and came to visit me and introduce herself because i had done the same and she had heard and we were neighbors at cavelier court. and brigido i met later and after that they got married. he sent me to his homeland venezuela way back when i was shook up after my separation from bill, so i "could see all that i still had going for me." (this was after an afternoon of some good venezuelan rum and lots of tears on my part...) anyway they came for a month!!! it was perfect, because it was just after the holidays and again i was feeling homesick for my boys and my family and oregon and my friends. we all stayed in my little apartment when not traveling or at work in sipascancha. and once brigido discovered the market we were always eating. i put on a few needed pounds while they were here. we hiked, saw all the ruins and towns from here and into the sacred valley, drank rum, of course, went to lake titicaca,copacobana, and la paz in bolivia and then down below to the tiawanaku ruins. i think i mentioned this before, but by far the worst place we were was desaguadero, on the border of peru and bolivia. i will never forget how we all ran through that ton because of the horrendous smell coming from a pit of funky water and garbage. claude was as white as a sheet when she got to the bus. it would have made a good percy shot, but i could not bring myself to take a photo, let alone buy antyhing to eat. sure fire food poisoning. it was fun and i was happy to share with them our adventure, my life here, my work and some of the people i've met along the way.

this is at the pisac ruins and one of the first places we went hiking. its pretty igh up and there are these stairs going down that are really narrow, without protection on either side and steep as hell. we were lucky to avoid them!

here we are behind a chicharron restaurant in urubamba playing a game. brigido probably remembers the name of it. you throw coin like things into a hole and there is a frog with a spining wheel in its mouth. maybe its like a manual pin ball thing. so, we ate alot of chicharron or fried pork. brigido loves it. its served with corn and potatoes and a mint and red onion salad. every town we hit he was the first to ask anyone where somebody went for the best chicharron.

near where we played the game, this woman was making ahi, a sauce made with peppers, garlic, other herbs and its all ground up on a rock table using a semi rounded stone to crush the ingredients. yumm. i love ahi.

heres a shot that was taken on our way to pumamarca from ollantaytambo with friends from town. in pumamarca, we visited ruins and then dropped down to the village and visited a family there. there was an old woman who had all these kids she had taken in because they had no family. we were able to bring them food anf the kids some treats.

heres the kids from the family in pumamarca.

the ruins in pumamarca.

this little doll saw us every morning in front of our hostal in ollantaytambo. her name is mercedes.

of course machu picchu! it was raining the whole time we were there practically and there was alot of cloud cover over the mountains surrounding the ruins.

these ruins are thought to be an experimental agricultural garden of the incas. huge circular, terraced gardens with different types of dirt as you go down as well as different temperatures. in the very center was the warmest.

salineras, the inca salt mines, one of my favorite places near the agricultural gardens.

i brought them to sipascancha and this is a photo brigido took of me with a group of women in the clinic while teaching a nutrition class. claudia said the women were lined up outside to get in! they slept in the clinic and were awakened early in the mroning by villagers wanting to be seen. and bless her heart, she understood a little spanish and no quechua! and brigido fixed my sink which had been plugged since arriving, the lights in the exam room, and lights outside to better light the path to the clinic. he just dinked around the whole time he was there fixing this and that with minimal supplies! and he had marbles for the kids and cludia had medicines for the clinic. it was cool to share my work with them and everyone loved them and wanted them to stay!

Here we are at lake titicaca after leaving the floating islands on the peruvian side. claude and i didn't really like the floating islands. manmade out of grasses from the lake. squishy and smelly and mainly a tourist stop. now we are headed to amanti to spend the night with a local family.

lake titicaca was beautiful. the night we spent with a family on amanti was intersting but completely set up to accomodate tourists. it was pretty but seemed like postcard peru to me. my favorite island was isla del sol, on the bolivian side. but regardless of what island you were on, the lake was always breathtaking.

here we are a ruin site in copacabana, on the bolivan side. the light was hitting the pool of water perfectly for this shot.

my buddies.

here we are in lapaz and all marveling at the wiring....

at the ruins of tiawanaku in bolivia. extraordinary. we heard a dig will begin here next year for what they believe is a pyramid like structure below what is already exposed.

on our way back...and after desaguadero. this was taken in juliaca of some local kids working.

so lets post this and add another in honor of percy...