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unsere lieben Heidemutzis, wir sind wieder heil und sicher in der Heimat angekommen, aber weil hier das Netz wesentlich besser ist, haben wir die letzten Fotos gerade noch online gestellt - ihr findet das Album wenn ihr auf folgenden Link klicken tut :-)
viel Spass und herzlichste Grüsse.
It’s Wednesday the 14th of February, the time now is 19:52. I am tired now, not physical but mentally.
The bridge, the houses and the plants I used to pass by so many times during the last four months… It won’t be the same again. Most of those houses are destroyed, the plants were ripped from their places and the bridge; well it looks like it wasn’t standing there in the first place. One giant landslide went through everything that was on its way. People went missing and died and to think about the animals. I never have seen this kind of nature violence before in my life. To see what Mother Nature did impressed me very much but at the same time, it’s disturbing somehow.
The people standing down on the bridge that survived the attack from Mother Nature or one places that used to be someone’s living room or shop, looking down the river. It’s not on TV with some text on the bottom of the screen to donate some money by sending a text message; no this is the real deal.
The people standing there were in such a big shock by this new reality. I asked myself, “Will they be the same again after that? What happens now with them?” Some lost everything, clothing, picture albums, their cars and what not I was standing next to a man. He said the entire time mi casa, mi casa, mi casa. He was near crying then laughing. I couldn’t say a single thing, the only thing I could do was put a hand on his shoulder.
But with all that happened there were also some really good things that happened. Everyone who could wrapped up their sleeves and started to help out where it was needed, salvage iron roof plates or getting belongings that are in houses that were standing half intact. Moving people whose houses where ...
Last weekend we all (that´s most of the other volunteers in the Sacred Valley region, which means I have more than one friend!) went to Cusco for the weekend, as it was someone´s birthday. We got the bus to Sacsaywaman, whih is an Incan site near Cusco which we were planning on visiting. As soon as we got off the bus we were pounced on a by a woman selling a horse riding tour of the local area and a few local Incan sites. Normally this would have been brushed aside with the obligatory ´no, gracias´, but she was pretty insistent, and given that it was only going to be 15 soles (less than 4 pounds) for an hour and a half we agreed. Really excellent decision. We walked slowly through forests, past farms, going higher and higher up from the valley, with some incredible views. We would stop occasionally to look at an Incan temple/house/pile of bricks and she would tell us all about it. I would love to relay the information, but given that it was all given in rapid Spanish, I know pretty much as much as you do. It was still really interesting, the structures and sculptures thay made out of solid stone in an age without machinery.
Once we had finished we went into Cusco, which is a lovely town, with some amazing architecture and loads of great, cheap food! First we went to the hostel, which is super nice, and then to lunch. We had a full two course meal with a frink for 4 soles (1 pound), so we managed to ignore the fact that the soup had bits of grey intestines floating in it. The main was yummy though, fried fish with rice and chips (you can never only have one type of carb on a plate here, I´m pretty sure it stems from the Incan god of carbs), and the drink was a traditional Peruvian drink made of black corn and flavoured with cinammon and ...
Having been quite busy for the past week, the next few posts are about a range of things written on the same day. so please bear with.
Last Thursday was the last day of summer school in the school where I was teaching so we had a fiesta! this is way more than just a party. Picture everything you can imagine about a Latin American fiesta, and it´s probably true. We started off with every class doing a little performance, with everything from a dance in traditional dress to Gangnam Style, one boy dancing to Michael Jackson, and poetry renditions. Our class sung Frere Jacque. Really very beautifully I might add.
After that we all joined in a circle around a tree that had been temporarily planted in a patch of grass they have. Earlier that day we had festooned it with streamers and little party bags, so it was quite heavily weighed down, but looked fab. Then we danced around the tree to a Peuvian song, and the adults were smeared with coloured powder and decorated with coloured garlands. Then, one by one in pairs, a man and woman danced arm in arm round the tree, and then took turns to chop down the tree with a big axe. With every swing the children would rush forwards in the hope that the tree would fall, and when eventually it did it fell on most of them! It was seriously crazy!! But after they had ripped off all the presents there were surprisingly few tears and we managed to redistribute the toys so noone missed out. The number of British health and saftey rules the whole thing would have crossed doesn´t bear thinking about, but the kids had fun which is the most important thing I reckon.
After that all the children had juice and popcorn, and then headed home. The teachers (including me. I am a real life teacher!) then all had lunch ...
Mit dem Bus ueber hohe Hoehen von Cusco nach Puno, zum Titikakasee - der hoechste beschiffbare See der Welt, gerade einmal 9 Grad warm, ueber 3800 qkm, 190 km lang, 80 km breit und 281 m tief an der tiefsten Stelle. Es war auf 2800 bis 4150 m Seehoehe insgesamt ein bisschen frisch, morgens immer sonnig und der See ruhig, und gegen Nachmittag/Abend kam der Regen und die Wellen im See. Wir haben die Inseln im Titikakasee besucht auf der peruanischen Seite. Uros, die selbstgefertigten, schwimmenden Inseln sind seit Urzeiten bewohnt. Die Einwohner sind sowohl den Inkas als auch den Spaniern damals einfach davongeschwommen. Sie sind hauptsaechlich Fischer.
Auf Amantani haben wir bei einer Gastfamilie gewohnt, und dort haben wir den Pachatata bestiegen, den Berg der Insel, 4150 m hoch. Diese Insel ist alles andere als touristisch, und wir haben einen guten Einblick bekommen in die Braeuche, Gepflogenheiten und Lebensweise der Bewohner. Auf der Insel gibt es keinen Strom. Die Leute leben ziemlich traditionell, bebauen die Inkaterrassen mit Kartoffeln und anderem Gemuese. Dort haben sie kein Problem mit Kriminalitaet oder sonstigen Begleiterscheinungen des Kapitalismus. Deshalb brauchen oder haben sie auch keine Polizei auf der Insel.
Auf der Nachbarinsel Taquile haben die Einwohner (wie sonst auch ueberall) Carneval gefeiert. Prozessionen von Leuten mit (Katzen-)Musik, Pfeifen, Floeten und Trommeln, ziehen tanzend durch die Strassen und eine Gruppe versucht die andere an Lautstaerke zu ueberbieten. Die Trachten sind traditionell und je nach Familien- und sozialem Stand gibt es kleine Unterschiede in Farbe, Pfotschengroesse und anderen Dingen.
Puno war im Ausnahmezustand, auch wegen der Candelaria-Feier und dem Carneval. Die haben alle gesponnen, die in Puno! Selbst am Fusse ...