I wanted to take the time to dedicate this post to describing where I am staying until the end of the month. I am currently enrolled in a field school put on by the Center for Social Well Being so I am here with three other field school students as well as four students who are participating in the Quechua program. We are staying at an ecological ranch, Casa de Pocha, where the food we eat is all produced from the ranch and is made through the use of solar ovens. The electricity and warm water are both produced through the use of solar panels. It truly is an incredible place. My last post was mostly in jest about the lack of wifi and internet capabilities that I am experiencing. While it can sometimes be frustrating to feel so disconnected from family and friends back home, it is freeing in the sense that you don’t have to respond to emails, calls, texts etc. and you can use your time to explore different parts of yourself and also your surroundings. I am currently writing this post outside of my room with a glorious view of Hualcan (a peak on the Cordillera Blanca). [I will be saving this post from my computer on a jump-drive and taking it to town where I can access the internet]
During this initial month with the field school, I am taking Spanish classes, becoming acclimated with participatory action research and Andean culture, as well as letting my body become adjusted to the high altitude. After the end of June, I will be moving into the city center of Carhuaz and will be doing a homestay while I complete my thesis research. For the current moment, I am enjoying getting to learn about traditional Andean music and dance, different types of healing methods, and the beautiful view that cannot be had anywhere else.
I have included a photo of Casa de Pocha. I tried including a photo I took of Hualcan, but it wouldn’t upload 😦 I also recommend gingko biloba to future travelers going to places with high altitudes. I have not experienced “sorocha” and I attribute at least half of my good fortune to gingko biloba.