With each sun-soaked drop of soap that fell, the islanders came to enjoy the convenience of a washing machine more and more. To celebrate our arrival, they flew white and blue.
So to get by in Peru, you’ve got to be thrifty. Juan Cuatari and his mototaxi helped us do just that. We had to take two trips, but we fit a bike and two barrels in the back of this thing, no sweat.
On the islands you can either make a living giving tours, or making traditional Incan boats out of reeds. Only two people out of 80 families make boats. They cost 10,000 Peruvian soles, or about 4,000 US dollars. The islanders refer to these reed boats as the “Mercedes Benz” of Lake Titicaca. They are taking orders, so let us know if you want one.
In the afternoon, the work slowed down a bit, so we took a break to pass around snacks. This girl from the islands found a new home for some stranded student sunglasses. In the background a newly built pump and the stove team.
On one of the last days on the Uros Islands with the GEO group, we let the women try it out with their own clothes. Mothers were taking off their children clothes and parents were taking off their sweaters to try out the washing machine. It was all for science of course. This picture was of the moment of truth: did the clothes get clean? Yes!
Dogs. We had a close encounter with them last week, but we HAVE to keep talking to people—-it’s in the name of science. So we devised these shin guards so that the dogs can’t bite us. “What happens if they bite you in the thigh?” you might ask. Well, that’s a risk we were willing to take. Forget Ironman, think Plasticman and Plasticwoman.
Today was our second trip to a community called Salcedo. Our goal was to find someone and follow them around the market. The dirt streets were eerily quiet when we knocked on Julia’s door. We explained who we were and what we were doing and two hours later she invited us to her farm in Capachica. It was a two hour trip one way, but we learned so much. On our way home we ran into this man who is a self-taught barber of seven years. Arturo (I think I made that up) lives in Llapura, a small community outside of Capachica.
No one was really quite sure how the Peruvian women would react to the washing machine. Only time will tell, but they were sure excited by the prospect of not having to wash their clothes by hand in the winter.
Yesterday was Machu Picchu day. Amy and I apologize in advance because the pictures taken don’t do one of the New 7 Wonders of the World justice. The day began at 4:45 with a hearty breakfast of mangoes, peaches and eggs. We took the bus up at 5:30 to arrive at 6 am. We spent the rest of the day hiking to various parts of the ancient ruins.