Monday, August 24, 2015
The monumental stonework at Sacsayhuaman forms massive zigzagged defensive walls of three tiers. Some granite blocks, which fit together seamlessly without mortar, weigh as much as 300 tons. The Incas were masters of architecture. I just stood in awe, admiration, and wonderment at how these blocks could be moved.
Death in Peruvian culture is not a morbid subject but an accepted part of life. We got first glimpse of a traditional home in Ollantaytambo where a skull of a long, deceased grandparent sits in a respected, honorable altar, where guinea pigs roam freely in the home, and where privacy is not the norm.
The locals call it lovely Ollanta, and it is indeed lovely. It is home to a formidable temple-fortress and an old town, built by the Incas, that's a perfect grid of streets. It is the only such layout remaining in Peru. The cobblestone streets are lined with canals carrying rushing water from the mountains. One of the highlights of my trip.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
I wouldn't be a teacher if my trip didn't involve a visit to a school. We were welcomed with a shower of confetti and a song and dance of a plague that wipes out an entire village. It wasn't a happy story, but the kids were happy enough to be singing and dancing.