Thursday, 9 April 2015

Santa Teresa Orphanage

As a testament to the sisters who live and work with these children I feel compelled to say a little about the work here.
 These princess dresses and suits were worn by the young girls and boys who are disabled.
No photos were taken so I had to at least take these. I was soooo touched. The sister told me she got these in Lima. I gave her a huge cuddle. They do not see these young people as less deserving in any way. The bodices were boned and sparkly.
I would also tell  you that ALL of the washing here is done by hand by amazing ladies helped by the volunteers.
 I was not going to take any photos or post about this orphanage but this is to celebrate these young people the way the sisters do. I walked in one day and said "Hola" and Zoila said "Hola" back. Mostly these girls have no language but so many of them know how to communicate and react with enormous humour and pay great attention to what goes on.
Marie Therese
                                 Roxana is the most interactive with the biggest laugh.
Luz Clarita is a tiny 4 year old who is going to become independent. She can walk and she feeds herself. 
                                                   She had her own little dress.
My last day it rained so much that I thought the planned picnic would be cancelled but no way.......... 2 buses pulled up and many wheelchairs were hoisted onto the roofs. People were manhandled into the buses. Little plastic kids chairs were placed in the aisles to seat the overload of adults and young people. We had little ones on our laps.
The adults at the back
                                               Under the slides for protection.
                                                                   Angel Gabriel
                                                                Juan Daniel
After feeding them popcorn and jelly for those that are unable to eat solids and a drink of course they were moved back into their wheelchairs to watch the soccer and the hilarious slidings. 

                             This is Judith who loves music and has fabulous rhythm.
                                       Kayley and Miguel - it was an amazing day. 
We fed  everyone and those needing changing were. So we packed everyone back into the                                              buses and back home.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Colca Canyon

                                                        Finally back to terraces.
Colca’s manmade terraced fields stacked up like gigantic staircases on the steep canyon slopes. Many of the terraces date back to Inca times and most are still tended to by local farmers who grow crops such as potatoes, barley, beans and quinoa.
                There are apparently 20 different colours of quinoa!! How about that!!
We stopped at Chivay, the main village of Colca Canyon, in the distance are Arequipa's two sentinel volcanoes,                             El Misti 5,822m.
                                                      and Chachani 6,075m.
In the village of Yanque the girls in traditional dress of the native Quechua people every                                                         morning in the main square.

Slicing through the High Andes like a giant fissure for more than 100km, Colca is the world’s second deepest canyon, approximately 3,400m at its deepest point -- a shade shallower that the nearby Cotahuasi Canyon and nearly twice as deep as the US’ Grand Canyon.

The canyon is home to the Andean condor, a species that has been the focus of worldwide conservation efforts. The condors can be seen at close range as they fly past the canyon walls.                                         My first view of a condor
They only fly in good weather - so blessed for a wonderful view of these incredible birds.

                                            Such a grand landscape to fly in.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Semana Santa - Holy Week

Cusco began its colourful Semana Santa, or Holy Week, on Monday with its ceremonial procession of El Señor de los Temblores. We walked up and on the way had to take these 
                                          Museo de Santo Domingo Qoricancha
We waited at the Plaza de Armas along with thousands of others.
Police everywhere
The cathedral of Santa Domingo
The other side of the plaza
The massive procession marched through the streets of Cusco, carrying with it the image of the celebrated figure El Señor de los Temblores, a representation of an image of Jesus that survived an earthquake.

On this day in 1650, March 31, Cusco was shocked by an earthquake that left much of the city devastated. It is said that the image of Christ was the only portion of the Cathedral left standing and that is how the tradition began.
                             The procession moved very slowly and the crowd grew.
        The kids got a good vantage point - not too fussed about it being a church!!
                                             Finally the Christ figure reached us. 
The crowd was so dense we almost felt we could not escape. It was even a bit scary. Still an interesting experience. 

Peru - the hero is the landscape

             On the way to Colca Canyon the changes in the landscape demand attention.
                                                 Langui Lake - a 25 km water mirror
                                            Green and blue - my favourite colours
                                                        These are for the animals
                                                        More grass less trees
                                                                 Llamas everywhere
                                                   They call this a stone forest
                                                       Here are the llamas
                                             And this is where they are heading
 “Castillos de Callalli”, which is a sort of castle-shaped rocky formation made by water and                                                                  wind erosion.
                And then for something completely different - no trees around here.