This morning we visited the children of Sillacancha School. There school has 120 students, from first grade through sixth. School runs from 8:30 to 1:30 each weekly. Many of these children started school late. Most live in high mountain communities, two to three hours from the school. Some board with family members who live close by. Sach’a Munay also runs a dorm in the valley for children that children can live in from Monday through Friday. They provide good healthy food, health care and activities.
After our visit to the Sillacancha School the other day, we made a second stop—at the market in Calca. As we bounced along the road between one destination and the other, Funky Town blasted out of the radio up front. We passed cows and small shops. Corn fields rimmed the road, the mountains looming over all. As we entered the town of Calca with its narrow cobblestone streets and raw adobe walls, Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun echoed through the car. We rocked out in our seats and when the van pulled to a stop across from the market entrance, we emerged out of the sliding door, laughing and dancing. We were ready for another adventure.
Last chance to relax before class. Looking out the door of our writing room into the rain. Bonding over head scarves #1. Kim is sitting; Juliana is standing. Bonding over head scarves #2. Kim is sitting; Juliana is standing. Bonding over head scarves #3. Kim is sitting; Juliana is standing. Bonding over head scarves #4. Kim is sitting; Juliana is standing. On our break; bonding over our new handwoven hats. Writer at work. I love the silence of creative concentration. Brenda, our guide, made it to writing class today. There’s nothing like the deep concentration of a room of writers at work. Si was really into it. This wasn’t the first time a dog joined our class. ... [Continue Reading]
Tomorrow we leave Sach’a Munay and I’m sad to leave this sacred stunningly beautiful place that has been our group’s home for a week—and Karyn and I even longer. I’m really not ready to leave even though our next stop is Machu Picchu. After yoga class and writing class this morning, we had a free afternoon. Some people napped. Others hung out or chatted; several more learned more about the spiritual history of this place. People did laundry, repacked (we can only take a small bag with us for our two nights in Aguas Caliente, the gateway to Machu Picchu—the rest will be stored and meet up with when we head to Cusco). A few watercolored with Brenda. Several learned about the permaculture system at Sach’a Munay. One woman went horseback riding.
Our final night at Sach’a Munay, we had a traditional pachamanca dinner. Having never been to Peru before, I didn’t know what to expect, but we were told if we wanted to find out, that we should show up in an open space between the guest rooms and the office at the base of the hill, near the large, stunning organic garden that’s fed by the permaculture system that runs through Sach’a Munay. I was the first to arrive. The cooks were there with a semi-circular outdoor oven, constructed just for this dinner, out of rock. What looked like charcoal was stacked on top, but I couldn’t tell for sure. Under the charcoal—or charcoal like rock, was a large hole and a flat rock on top. Curved pieces of clay, that looked like roof tiles, leaned up against the sides. Pachamanca means earth oven ... [Continue Reading]
Before we head to Machu Picchu. Final guided meditation before we leave for Machu Pichu. Finally a few minutes of rest for the teacher. So sweet. A little tiny nap. Another napper. And two more. All aboard. Sweet lovely train. And amazing scenery all the way....tomorrow at 5 AM we leave for Machu Picchu. But first a French dinner tonight. ... [Continue Reading]
Dear Mom, Today would have been your 90th birthday and it’s the day we’re going to Machu Picchu. I think it’s fitting because you were such a world traveler, always planning the next trip, always eager to regale everyone with your travel stories. But you never made it Peru. You never saw Machu Picchu, though you saw the Sphinx and the pyramids, the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower. So, I’m going to keep you tucked in my heart and share my day with you. I know so much you’d love to be here. Our day started early. Karyn’s alarm went off at 4:00 AM. Mine followed in rapid succession at 4:05. Everyone in our group gathered in the dining room of our hotel for a very early breakfast. As Michelle put it, “It was a good breakfast, but I probably won’t remember eating it.” I chose quinoa ... [Continue Reading]
(This is part II of a two-part post) After lunch, most of our group opted to take the bus back to Agua Calientes to shower, rest, shop, go the local museum or do whatever they wanted. But a hard-core group of eight of us (plus Brenda) who really like to hike had bought a second pass to go back in in the afternoon. On the way back up after lunch, we headed to the Sun Gate. It was an hour and a half up and an hour and a half back down.