Monday, June 9, 2014

Bucket List Checked: Peru (p.7)

Love, my ass.  The international language is food.  
~ Rachel Vincent

I'm sorry this post was so terribly delayed - hopefully you will think that it was worth the wait.  I give you - the children of Peru:  

The first child that we saw in traditional costume was keeping his mother company at a roadside weaving exhibit - he was generally sitting (amazingly!) still - but that doesn't mean he wasn't having a good time!  ;)

From the exhibit, we went to the Pisac market, where we saw lots of children and adults in traditional costume.  For example, these two young girls approached us and asked if we wanted a picture:  

I had read that we would encounter a lot of children asking for change and the guidebook suggested that we take small, useful items to hand out instead - such as little notebooks and pens.  I found these little all-in-one kits that had small coloring books, 4 crayons and a page of stickers at Walmart, for $0.97 each and so I took 18 of them with us - in themes such as "Hello, Kitty" and "Transformers".  

After paying these girls for posing for us, I dug out 2 of the kits for them.  Their eyes grew big, they giggled and scurried away.  

About 30 seconds later, we were surrounded by two dozen children, all with their hands out!  And you thought news travels fast over the internet!  ;)

Yes, you did the math correctly - less than a minute later, I was completely out of my stash.  To summarize: great idea, but a bit weak on the execution side.  ;)

Anyways, the market was full of women carrying their babies and toddlers wrapped in brightly colored shawls - all happy to pose for a picture or two:  

Okay, perhaps the babies were slightly less keen on having their pictures taken than their moms...    

The next day we traveled up to a weaving community, where we saw lots more children.  I hated not having any more coloring books, but our guide suggested that what these children would really enjoy was some fresh fruit - as it doesn't grow at the altitude of their village.  

(A member of the staff at the hotel echoed the suggestion - adding the comment that, if we gave them money, they'd just waste it on computer time at internet cafes...  !!)

So, before the drive up the "road" (and you have no idea how loosely I use that word!) to Willoq, we purchased several pounds of tangerines and bananas to take with us.  

Turns out that fruit works too.  ;)

I was worried that this one would be too young to know how to peel and eat a tangerine.  But she held out her hand, so I gave her one, and she had that thing peeled and in her mouth before I could blink!  You can see some evidence on her cheeks...  

Her older sister savored it a bit more slowly...  

We arrived just around the time that school was getting out, and the word of fresh fruit spread just as quickly as the word of coloring books had spread the day before.  

We learned that the children wear traditional costumes to school every day.  Unfortunately for me, they don't speak Spanish - they speak Quechua - and so I couldn't really communicate with them.  (Although they did all know the word "gracias" - with a Quechua accent!)  

But there is another "language" (besides food) that children everywhere know.  It goes like this - you hold our your camera and, when they accept it, you point to the button that takes pictures.  ;)

Here are some of the results:  

(These brothers actually spoke Spanish - we met them when we were waiting for a train.)

The older brother waited patiently while his younger brother took our picture:  

The younger brother was, perhaps, a bit less patient...  

Most of their pictures were "art" (in the sense that you couldn't really tell what they were pictures of), but the younger brother did manage to snap this one, of one of the other kids hanging around the train station.  Just looking at this face makes me smile.  :)

So, that wraps up my stories and pictures from our trip.  As I hope I was able to illustrate, it was an amazing, magical journey that we will remember for the rest of our lives!  


  1. Wonderful travel portraits, Gwen! And I always enjoy your accounts of the trip. Great experience!

    1. Thanks so much, Karren! From such an accomplished photographer and travel blogger, that really means a lot! :)
      All the best,

  2. Gwen... I enjoyed this post too. Will spend more time time looking at your wonderful blog. Terri