Wednesday, March 25, 2009

hill villages

Some indiginous kids out playing at school - the gringos are the photographers that I went up with. I used to think they just got dressed up in their costumes to show off for tourists, I was glad to see that they actually wear them all the time.

They really are just like postcards.


This is one of the women we are working on the spinning wheel program with. They cart wool and spin by hand. Then weave on little backpack looms. Then when we see these beautiful weavings for 50 soles and think ¨that´s too much!¨ I am a little ashamed cause $18 just is nowhere enough, you know? But I´m still a schmuck and haven´t bought any.

Some of the folks with the spinning wheels. There is this really interesting thing that happens where they are willing to be freaks in a sideshow and let people take their pictures as though they were objects so that they can get stuff. You can tell they hate it but they haven´t figured out another way to get the help. It is very strange indeed. I didn´t take very many photos, just piggybacked a little on the photographer but it still feels kind of weird. I did meet a school director today that I really liked though and am excited to get to talk to him more. He wasn´t willing to pull kids out of class just to be photographed for example because so many tourists come wanting to just take pictures of these novelties and he says they need to be in class, not being distracted all the time. And the tactic that many people use is to give candy to the kids to pose and he thinks they shouldn´t be taught that their time and essence can be bought for a couple of pieces of candy. They are doing intensive studies of the native Andian culture also at the school so that as they are ¨westernized¨ their culture isn´t lost in the meantime. Classes are taught in Spanish and Quechuan and it´s run by Peruvians which is nice. He and I got along really well and he asked me to come back and visit with him some more and maybe there are some things I can help with there. This felt nice as one definitely understands that he is not of the ¨yay! gringos to buy us stuff!¨ part of the culture but more of the ¨unless you are actually useful to me I´d rather not have you making distractions¨ as opposed to the other school we went to where the kids were encouraged to come fight for candy in order to pose for photos and classes be damned.
Also I was excited because some of the Quechuan I´m learning came in handy. ¨How are you?¨ ¨What´s your name?¨ Stuff like that. Some of the close ups with the kids that I have came not through candy but through trying to speak their language and having them teach me and laugh at my pronounciation which was very gratifying. Also they really do love to see their photos on the camera after taking them.
All in all a very interesting day and I am really grateful I got to go up and look forward to more of this type of exploring.
love to you all!


  1. I absolutely love the first picture of that child.

  2. Hey, can I send a few dollars for some weavings? I'm very happy for you! You're doing so well!

  3. Or I could send school supplies, pencils are always needede.