Working Hard in Tierra de Los Yaquas
My least favourite part of the day is at 9am, when we have to climb up a steep hill in order to get to work each day. Good training for Machu Picchu I guess. Despite all the climbing, the view in the Sacred Valley is incredibly beautiful. From the house where we are staying, I can see Inca ruins, and we are surrounded by huge mountains that are so green and vibrant, they almost look fake; like a picture from Google Images.
There's definitely been a lot more work to do here than in Karina. Tierra de Los Yaquas is a community of about 15 different families, and we help a different one each day. We’ve done a lot of corn shucking and carrying things around. Friday, we carried large stacks of corn stalks on our backs to be used as feed for the animals. This was accompanied by a traditional call and response song as we walked. I don't think any of us really had the singing/yodelling chops, but we tried our best.
There has also been some down time to go to Pisac, the nearest town. There's a huge marketplace filled with stalls selling everything from souvenirs to jewellery to dye. We walked around, shopped, and bought a soccer ball for a game with the community the next night. It was quite an intense match up, one that we eventually lost.
We had two celebrations this week. Tuesday was Alex’s birthday. We celebrated with cake for breakfast (hi mom). Then, we walked to a hotel in Pisac, the closest town, for a swim in the pool.
Thursday was a national holiday, Corpus Cristi day. Our hosts invited us to take part in building a traditional oven out of dried mud. Then, you light a fire until the inside of the oven gets very hot. Finally, you put the fire out, put potatoes inside, and collapse the entire thing so the potatoes cook inside the hot mud-pile. And then of course, as we have done so often on this trip, we ate potatoes.