Construction has been progressing extremely well on the Sister Antonia Community Kitchen in Ichupampa. The crews got the foundations in, the first floor walls up, and the second floor poured in record time. We are currently ahead of schedule.
The Latest On: Peru Travel
I spent two Christmases in Peru’s Colca valley, and I enjoy revisiting those holiday memories, contrasting them with what I experience at home in Montana. In Chivay, Christmas decorations are almost non-existent, at least outwardly. Many homes and businesses, however, maintain a little home-made nativity scene in a corner, with figurines of wise men and animals. The baby Jesus isn’t present, though, until midnight on Christmas Eve, (“la Noche Buena”), when with some fanfare He is added to the scene.
For the Corani EPD project to succeed in the dual goal of 1) increasing the price of the co-op’s fleece and 2) simultaneously improving the genetics of the member’s alpacas, it needed a micron measurement device. I consulted with Angus McColl of Yocom-McColl Testing Laboratories in Denver, Colorado, who recommended an OFDA 2000, manufactured by BSC Electronics of Australia.
The young veterinarian was flanked by three Quechua alpaca breeders, each with their felted cowboy hats firmly in place and nary a smile on their stoic, weather creased faces. They were from an important alpaca-growing region in district of Corani, near Macusani.
Construction started last week with the demolition and removal of the existing building. This week the foundations are being dug. Over the next 16 weeks, you will see the construction rise up. We are targeting a mid-March completion.
In explaining the holiday, I had translated Thanksgiving literally as “the day to give thanks.” I learned later that it is more traditionally referred to in Spanish as “el día de acción de gracias,” or “the day of putting thanks into action.” That made me hit the “pause” button. “Putting thanks into action?” What might that mean?
The Inca rulers, with their gift for organizing and governing vast territories, elevated the wild vicuña to exclusive status in their empire. The Sun Kings forbade the killing of vicuña. Instead, ceremonial hunts, or chaccus, were held annually. Thirty thousand people would form a half circle, beating drums and chanting, as the vicuña ran before them.
Over the years, many people have asked me to create my idea of the perfect trip for a two week visit to Peru. The itinerary below has the common bucket list stop at Machu Picchu, but also includes a more exotic destination: Manú Biosphere Reserve.
Thanks to your generosity after the devastating cold snap in Southern Peru, we delivered 2,317 polar fleece jacket and pant sets for children, 1,535 warm blankets, and 5,000 doses of Vitamin C. Additionally, we surpassed our fundraising goal for the Ichupampa Community Kitchen!
It was never my intention to become an international adventure travel guide. I owned an independent bookstore for 23 years, for crying out loud, I’m not Indiana Jones, but here I am, about to guide my fourth group of visitors to Peru’s Colca valley.