Peru TravelBlog 09 Index

February 5, 2009
Just Before Midnight

I just posted an entry that I started when I first arrived in Cuzco. I guess I was waiting to put up the pictures on the blog page before I put it on the website. Well, I think I am going to change the format somewhat because every day there are things to write about and not always time to do the picture part. So I am going to give it a try to add bits and pieces as I am able to write them.

For those of you who are word people, you can follow the story that I am writing for I am truly taking advantage of the time to write creatively. And for those of you who just want to look at the pictures, I think I will post separate pages with pictures having captions below them. I will send out an email when I post new pictures but if you are interested in the story, you may want to check back to the blog index periodically

So for the wonderfulness of today...
I LOVE doing whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. It is a different life here because people can't pull you away from what you are doing in the same way. And the distractions are of a totally different nature, self-chosen more than outerly imposed, that is, I can choose to go out into the streets and into the plazas and be amongst the people or visit the ruins etc., or, I can stay in my apartment and content myself with a sewing project, working on a website, reading, doing yoga, cooking, eating, etc.— knowing that the phone is not going to ring.

So I had a leisurely morning and when I was good and ready, I headed out to bring my laundry to be done. I went to a new place today, different from last year that looked pretty good. It cost me 11 soles for someone to wash and dry and fold my 4.25 kilos of clothes. With today's exchange that was $3.39.

I am too tired to go on even though I am excited to tell you about the rest of the magic of the day. Let's just say for now, that it had to do with music and midwives.

More manana.

February 6, 2009
More About Yesterday

Last year, I met a wonderful family here just before leaving. We became friends fast and I had the opportunity to go see my friend Pacolo's band a couple of times before leaving. We have kept in touch over the year and I was excited to come back with the hopes of playing music here with these friends.

When I first went to look for Pacolo and Elizabeth, the shop they had last year had closed doors. The second time was the same and the third time, I could see people inside working on the room so I knew that Pacolo and family were no longer there. The woman in the shop next door called to me luckily to come and see her wares. I asked her if she knew my friend's whereabouts, and she started explaining in rapid Spanish that I could not follow. Luckily, her son showed up and took me to the new shop. There was my friend sitting at the desk. A wonderful reunion.

We did some catching up and eventually various of his musician friends showed up and before I knew it, I had guitar in hand and was singing "Bring Your Love, Bring Your Gratitude" accompanied by Churanga and drum. Already my vision was unfolding before my eyes and ears. Happy inside. A while later, Elizabeth (Pacolo's wife) showed up and we communicated in our half Spanish, half English way, each of us with about the same ability in the other's language.

Hungry, back to the casita for food and a rest and preparation to go meet again at the shop later. When I returned, I was told by a woman I had met that afternoon that Pacolo was home for dinner and would return later. That worked out fine for me as I had passed a shop with a sign out front for Chai. I turned the corner and went inside of this "hippie looking" place. There were some familiars hanging around a sign pointing up the stairs to a loft for chai. I decided to brave it and ascend the stairs, asked for some chai and sat down amongst the group of women that was already there. Not too hard, this is pretty comfortable, and then they started speaking English. Turns our they were from Washington state and Canada. But here's the magic, what were they doing in Peru?--attending a midwifery program—you're kidding...Nope.

Whapio Diane Bartlett, is their teacher. From her website, thematrona.com it looks like she is based in Nashville, NC and does various midwifery programs in different places. My timing was a bit late for this one, since today is the last day of their program—but it surely got me thinking.

I hurried back to my apartment to get the Blessingway CD but didn't make it back in time to give it to Whapio in person, although I did meet her before I left the shop. When I came back the midwives in training asked if we could put the CD on, so there I was, listening to the Blessingway Songs CD in Cuzco with a cozy group of like-minded young women. I passed around my cards and asked one of the woman to be sure to get the CD from the player and give it to Whapio. Ah, the magic of it all!

Earlier, I had made the decision to stay where I was even if I missed Pacolo and friends. However, when I did leave and rounded the corner, there they were, hanging outside of the shop. We had another wonderful jam, this time with an additional musician. Pacolo suggested that we learn about four songs together and talk to the people at a local club, Ukukos, about doing a mini set. Am I stoked, or what? I had the vision, and in no time, it is manifesting.

One more thing before I sign off. Musi, Ric and I have bus tickets for Puno, leaving tomorrow morning for La Candelaria Fiesta. But, alas, Ric came down with an infection the first day in Cuzco, most likely from the food and or water. He's had a fever and lack of energy and although he is feeling better, it will be too much to take the journey to Puno. Looks like I am going to go anyway, talk about getting very brave! So now I have three seats on the bus to Puno tomorrow since they are non-refundable for Musi and Ric. I have a reservation in the same hostel we stayed in last year so that is familiar and I have an idea of the layout of Puno so I feel pretty confident. I will keep you posted. Last year there was no internet in the hostel but an Internet place just down the street. So I may or may not be in touch. All for now.