Monday, February 16, 2015

Around Cusco

This week, our Espanol tutor Sthefania moved to Lima with her family, so we took her to lunch on Friday after our last lesson.  We were told of a place near Plaza de Armas that serves good hamburgers, and we decided to try it.  The meal was excellent and we very much enjoyed Sthefania's sendoff.  It was just a little too cool to dine on the balconies overlooking the street.  We are sad that now we have to find another tutor.

 A pic of Hermana Johnson and Sthefania at Plaza de Armas.  The square is quite big, about 7 acres I would guess, and highlighted by elegant and historic Spanish churches on 2 sides.

Lest you think that we just look at the beautiful and historic sites all the time, here's a photo of a wonderful family we met last week, and returned for another visit to help them open their accounts.  Their son Henry is 11, just like our grandson Henry.  They live at the top of a high hill.  The first time we climbed up 272 steps in the dark with the elders, just to make it to their neighborhood.  The next time, we took a taxi - with 4 of us plus the driver, he had to slip the clutch in 1st gear just to make it up the last pitch.  Arturo and his family think nothing of the climb every day, and think they live in the best neighborhood in town!

 Technology and Hermana Johnson at work.  My MacBook gets its WiFi internet signal from a cell phone in my pocket.  Many of our members don't have computers or internet in their homes, so we are able to pack this little bundle of technology around with us wherever we go.  Hermana Mercedes looks as some new family names that we just entered.

Here's a sweet family, Gladys & her son Hector diligently writing in their Mi Familia booklets.  With the information they put down, we're able to get pictures, stories, important dates, and history of their family members on, where it will be preserved forever.

I snapped this pic of Hermana J just when we got out of a taxi, and were waiting for the apartment door to open.  It's not really cold (yet), but her high-tech rainjacket and umbrella are her constant companions, along with me.  In this season, it can switch between rain and shine 3 - 4 times every day.  We've been lucky, and while we haven't been caught in any real heavy downpour, it's common to be out while its raining.  I should take pictures of some of the runoff when its really heavy - its amazing how much comes down from the hills, and flows down through town and into the valleys below.

Hermana J. gets her roots touched up.  Luckily, I was told by the elders about a lovely member who has her own salon.  I got the best $2 haircut in the world last week, and talked Hna. J into going to her for the coloring.  Otherwise I would have gotten drafted for the job, and that could have been disastrous. 

The result was worth a couple of smiles.

There's color everywhere in Peru, including the fruits and vegetables.  Here's some mini-potatoes for sale in the market.

Breakfast staples:  Peanut butter, jam, and tasty mini-bananas, of which there are many types and colors.  These are our favorite, and are about 3 bites each.

We were invited by the Hasler's to go to a local market on Saturday.  Elder H has an eye for authentic Peruvian artifacts, and was looking for some little funerary figures that are placed at graves.  He found some, and I found some rubber hose gaskets to fix a plumbing leak, along with 2 little nifty leather coin purses to hold coins for the taxis that otherwise are at the bottom of my pocket under a cell phone.  There are markets all over town, and this is where the locals shop.  You don't see many tourists in these places, though I suppose a few do wander trough.  We'll probably end up with a few of the colorful alpaca blankets before we return.

This little lady had many dozens of hand-made woolen finger puppets for sale.  Hna. J bought a couple (dozen).  Total bill:  10 sol, or about $3.50.

Yep, everything you can imagine is for sale, including alpaca and goat skins.

After the market, we walked a ways through town, across an overpass.  The train tracks that take tourists toward Macchu Picchu, but not all the way, are visible, along with some (rather light) street traffic.

We stopped for lunch with the Hasler's at a 2nd story restaurant just outside Plaza de Armas.  We haven't been in the historic churches yet, that's still on the "to do" list.

While we were eating lunch, there was a protest march.  We're not sure what they were protesting, but they did have a lot of people marching.  They were quite orderly, but did have some slogans they were constantly shouting, as well as banners.  The usual complement of motorcycle cops was around, to politely block off vehicle traffic.   There are a few riot cops visible in the center, standing shoulder to shoulder.  They didn't do anything but watch.  The march went clear through the square once, then down the street visible to the left, and around a corner.  As soon as they were gone, groups of colorful dancers appeared in the square, so evidently protest marches are run on a timely schedule.  Pretty entertaining for lunch.


  1. Great pictures! You'll have to be sure to print this blog into a book when you get home! That's what I do each year with my blog.

  2. Looks like an exciting adventure. We are enjoying your pictures. It is nice to be in a new country with a few American delights like hamburgers thrown in.