Saturday, 28 February 2015

Pisac on a Sunday

I really wanted to see Pisac on a Sunday. There are markets but there is also a mass and the men and boys on this Sunday were all dressed up for the service. 
The hats are impressive
You really don't get to look inside many churches let alone during a service so this was special.

 However it was also market day 

Lots of produce
Beautiful children
And matrons
But the hero for me is the amazing countryside. The Inca terraces and beautiful landscapes.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

More fun at the Orphanage

We have this program humming. The reading is going so well with the little boys. Charlotte and Jane and I usually read to an individual boy. For them to get one-on-one help is fabulous. Reading is not culturally valued here and the brief was to encourage an interest in reading. They are spending an hour in the library.

              Puzzles are popular too. We have another hour with puzzles and various activities.                                                               Then playtime

You have to balance the books with outdoor fun.
The girls loved these Dress your Princess sticker books.
They got to take them home and were thrilled.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Tipon, Pikilliacta and Rumicolca.

The Inca were brilliant engineers who strove to integrate their architecture with its natural surroundings. TIPON, a 500-acre site built around a spring near Cusco, has been called their masterpiece of water management. 
The intricate baths and irrigation channels still function five centuries after the Spanish conquest.
Because the waterworks were constructed as part of a country estate for Inca nobility, Tipon has beautiful stone structures. 
The terraces were for agriculture. The baths served a religious purpose and on the site is an area devoted to astrological investigations. It is also wonderfully peaceful here.


I loved this place. It extends over a huge area and was built by the Huari culture around 800 AD, before the rise of the Incas.
                                     It has unique, geometrically designed terraces.
There are a group of bulky two-storey constructions: apparently these were entered by ladders reaching up to doorways set well off the ground in the first storey – very unusual in ancient Peru. They possibly were barrack-like quarters.
               Many of the walls are built of small cut stones joined with mud mortar.
 When the Incas arrived early in the fifteenth century they modified the site to suit their own purposes, possibly even building the aqueduct that once connected Pikillacta with the ruined gateway of                                                 RUMICOLCA

This massive defensive passage was also initially constructed by the Huari people and served as a southern entrance to – and frontier of – their empire.
The coolest part of this place is the obvious Inca additions. It was blowing a gale and raining on and off ......
The Incas improved on the rather crude Huari stonework of the original gateway, using regular blocks of polished andesite from a local quarry. It rises about 12 meters.
It became an Inca checkpoint, regulating the flow of people and goods into the Cusco Valley: no one was permitted to enter or leave the valley via Rumicolca between sunset and sunrise. This trip was fabulous and I really enjoyed it.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

What do you do at the orphanage?

It took the first week and a half to observe the children who range in age from 18months to 14. There are a couple of older boys I have not met as yet. I played memory games and did origami with them. I spent one session in the activity room with a group of young boys and it had worked really well. I definitely did not want to be doing memory games or origami for the next couple of months so I discussed with Carlos and Agnes who run Volunteering Peru the possibility of speaking with the Director of the Orphanage about setting up a program of activities for me and the children. As it turned out Jane an ex-teacher also a volunteer who had just come to stay in my house could join me at the orphanage.
                                                 "If you build it they will come."
Day 1: We literally cleaned every book and shelved them along with 6 of the little girls who worked like dynamos and the staff member, Mary. The girls even cleaned the desks and chairs as we attempted to organise the books. We were filthy and I had all of my clothes washed afterwards. 
Photos of the children on the walls
Day 2
                                 You can just see the boxes of rubbish outside the door.
Children are to be encouraged to read as much as possible.
There is an activity room next door with puzzles and drawing equipment. Jane and I organised and cleaned it too on Day 2.
The girls had earned a play in the attached playroom.
This is the biggest doll I have ever seen almost as tall as she is.
These girls were amazing in how they helped.

A program has been now set in place where children from 4 different houses, 1 house each day, spend an hour in the library, an hour in the activity room and then an hour in the playroom each morning.
Some children were brought in to try the puzzles.
It's Issac with his tongue out and Mary Luz looking taken aback.
The kids loved it and Martha, one of the "Mami's" was fabulous at encouraging them.
Day 3 - The little boys
I felt some trepidation about this group of kids as a couple of them were full on physical kids.
Jane and I felt the most difficult thing would be to keep them reading for an hour.
We laid out different kinds of books for them as they range in age from 3 - 8.
 This is Jimmi who is the full on physical kid reading with Jane - no problem.
What sustains library hour books on dinosaurs of course.
Then we had to go into the activity room where they did puzzles for an hour before they went into the play room.
This is Zero who has this killer smile. He is 3. Jimmi is beside him.
                                                           This is Juan who is 8.
They loved these 
Cute as. The end of a fabulous morning.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


                                      Moray is an example of extreme Inca landscaping. 
                                   The terraces staircase down more than 30 metres. 
                                                           Detail of terraces
Air temperatures between the top and bottom layers can differ by more than 20 degrees, which has led some researchers to theorise that Moray was an Inca agricultural site where experiments on crops were conducted.                
                                                  Spectacular country
                                          The second pit with curious stone mounds.

                                                                  The third pit
                                               Surrounding countryside