Our very Peruvian weekend started on Friday when we had Carapulcra for lunch (a traditional Peruvian dish!) it was the best thing I’ve eaten since we have been here. It was full of flavour and a mixture of potatoes and peanuts in a sauce with some spiced noodles.
In the afternoon our mission was to find a suitable place to present the show at the end of the project. Our fist stop, and our number 1 choice, was the Plaza de Armes in Chincha. We have been here many times as it is just down the road from social creative but it was good to look from a new perspective with a specific intention. The area we have chosen to perform is a big space in front of 6 or so flag poles, we will just need to find some chairs for the elderly to be able to sit and watch, whilst others will stand. I am very excited to dance here as I love dancing outside and this really is the heart of Chincha Alta!
Our 2nd stop in Pueblo Nuevo, a district not far from Chincha Alta, we ran in to a fiesta! The locals we having a street party – dancing, music and alpacas. Haha! It was wonderful to see the traditional dances, however, I have no idea how they do it in such big think costumes in 28+ degree weather! The second dance they did was intriguing as they were wearing what looked like penguin costumes and dancing to a baby Jesus, I would have loved to know what that story was a bout and the relevance of the penguin costumes! Sarah and I also had our first encounter with and Alpaca … they aren’t the most friendly animals I must say. The first one just kept walking away whenever we tried to get near, and the second (who wasn’t nearly as pretty) was being annoyed by some kids so was biting at everyone! – the space in here wasn’t so good for the performance.
Next we went on to Chinch Baja where they have a sort of sunken stage area with seating around, which also could work for the presentation. There was a group of kids playing around the “stage” and as soon as they saw us came running up to us, asking where we were from and what we were doing there. When we told them that we are dancers they insisted on showing us some of their theatre. We thought this may mean dancing (as one girl said) but no, we got to watch a girl and a boy miming to a number of different Peruvian songs, all of which were very dramatic! Definitely an interesting experience.
On Saturday we took a trip to Tambo Colorado (a place where not many Peruvians even know!), an Inca ruin. Many of the Incas lived up in the mountains, however they needed to use the sea for trade, so Tambo Colorado was built as the centre for communication between the two. I find places like this so interesting and we learnt a lot about Inca culture from a very knowledgeable tour guide and some very helpful translation from Maja. The ruin wasn’t actually preserved until the late 90’s and had a road, which has now been diverted, running right the way through the centre of the Plaza. This also meant there was a lot of graffiti on the walls from the 80’s and 90’s, which was a shame however you could still see the original colourings on the walls where the Incas had painted.
Sunday morning I decided to join Maja and her host family at Church. The service was lovely and gave me a chance to really reflect on the past 2 weeks and think about what I want to do after the project and where I want to be. It was very interesting to also see the small nuances between a Catholic church in England and how the mass is run, to the Catholic Church in Peru.
In the afternoon we headed to the beach! – need I say any more!
I love Peruvian life and being able to dance every day with the most amazing an open people … may be I won’t come home!