The worldwide Augustana College experience

A weekend of traditions!

It’s official. I’m sick. I have a terrible cough and I can’t stop sneezing. I don’t know what it is because I’m sure it’s not from food but it needs to go. I have things to do.

Last weekend, the group traveled to Ingapirca and the Incan ruins were sooo beautiful! It was a very special celebration last weekend because it was a holiday to worship the sun. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch a lot of what our guide said because I’m not that great at Spanish but just being there was really cool. It is a three day festival and there are lots of vendors just outside the ruins now (it’s not traditional). Another unfortunate thing about this trip is that this weekend is also very popular for the people to travel to Ingapirca to do drugs and drink (also not traditional). Luckily though there weren’t too many of those people around. There were traditional dances done by all the different communities of indigenous poeple and it was awesome to watch.

We also went to a museum to learn more about the Incans and the indigenous. There were all different types of clothing of the people, we were taught some traditions, where and how the people lived and, my favorite part personally, the shrunken heads. They were awesome :) Not that murderers got beheaded but it’s just really interesting to see. From what little I understand, a member of the family of the person who was murdered  goes and finds the killer and beheads him and then there is a process to shrinking their head. The person would then wear the head as a necklace. This practice was not done as a sort of revenge but instead as a way to balance the energy or spirits or something. They don’t do this anymore, now the law takes care of punishment. The tribes only shrink animals now. I really wish I knew more on the topic, it’s fascinating.

After the museum, on my walk home, the coolest thing happened to me! I was alone by the way. An Ecuadorian man with his grandson stopped me on the street and asked me for directions to an heladeria, and icecream store!  I was so excited!!! I told him exactly were to go with no problem. I’m so proud :D I know you might not think it’s that big of a deal but it is for me because I am only a 100 level and I, a mere gringa, got approached for directions. *sigh* life is good :)

We’ve also taken 3 days of ceramics classes and I painted this really pretty plate! It looks so cool! I also got to spin a “plate” on the spinny thing with the clay pottery stuff (sorry I don’t know all the lingo) and it’s, well … awful. No, not awful. It has character. I also took my second dance lesson and hopefully it was the last one of Bachata. I’m not saying that I don’t like learning Bachata. I’m saying that I really want to get to the Salsa and Meringue part.

Oh! I almost forgot!! I ate Cuy!! If you don’t know, Cuy is guinea pig. It was a little strange at first because they’re pets in the states but I got over that quickly because I never owned one and thinking about a guinea pig makes me wonder why we don’t eat them. Sure they’re cute and all but they’re nervous little things and you can’t really play with them, kind of like fish or chickens.  Anyways, regarding the taste, it was absolutely delicious! Smells like rotisserie  chicken and tastes even better! Though they put way too much salt on mine, I’d still eat Cuy again!

4 Responses to “A weekend of traditions!”

  1. Bravo on giving directions! I assume it was all done in Spanish

  2. I ate cuy as an exchange student in Peru. My family raised them on the roof of their house. Maybe this contributed to my becoming a vegetarian 18 years ago :)

  3. Sounds like an exciting week – hope you get over your cold or whatever is ailing you!

  4. Just read your blog. You seem to be having a great time. I’m very happy for you. From your descriptions I can tell that you are having may new experiences. Congratulations on being able to give directions in Spanish. That is terrific.

Leave a Reply