Thursday, February 5, 2009
Where to begin?!?!
I know I haven´t written in awhile, and for good reason...phew! I am here in Puno, Peru.
I had written a little about the first nite that I got here. From there...right now is the Festival del Virgen del Candelaria here, a two week long festival. It is the third largest in South America (1st Carnival in Rio, 2nd Bolivia) I have officially joined the group Huj´maya. The Puno siku (andean flute), drum, and traditional dance group that combines the two indigenous cultures here, Quechua and Aymara. I have learned the traditional dances for some 7 odd dances that we are going to perform in the stadium here in front of thousands of people, and from there march through the streets...a three day event! Basically all day and nite. Traditional dress and all. Its so awesome this group, they are great, I can´t even begin to explain. Last weekend commenced the festival, and there was bands marching through the streets and dancing at all hours...craziness. There are some 400 traditional dances just from this region of Puno. All of them have traditional dress as well....it´s a huge event. (Why don´t the states have festivals like this?) We marched through the streets...i think i´ll just have to explain when i get back!!!
Also I went to Lake Titicaca. We went to the Floating Islands (that YES they do actually float), which were very interesting and beautiful. From there made our way to Island Taquile to see the community that lives there (who have maintained a lot of their original aymara culture, and are world known for their cloths)
Hanging out with some of the people from Huj´maya. And Freddy lets me borrow his motocycle, and he lets me drive. So we spent a day driving around Puno seeing all the cool places, mostly those that tourists don´t see :) And going to his band practice (he plays harmonica as well). We went to cool lookouts that you can see L. Titicaca and all of Puno, harbored ships converted to restaurants, local bars, and lots of highway hahaha.
There have also been other couchsurfers who have strolled through, from Germany, Belgium... and we have lots of fun as well.
Another of my trip tops was last Saturday night, the best fiesta I´ve seen. Fireworks, parades, tons of music groups, dancing...it was amazing....everybody dancing everywhere. Huj´maya also is amking a video for the group, and I got to participate!!! I dressed in traditional dress and we performed and did scenes from the indigenous culture. Granted it took all day, and now I know I can´t be an actress! But it was fun all the same.