Aymara People had Lunch With Us!

We headed down the road toward Bolivia today and stopped at a local Sunday market where everyone from neighboring villages come to trade and/or buy what they need. It was interesting to watch the trading of beans or potatoes for fish, yet some pasta items had to be bought. People here do not take kindly to being photographed, so all pictures were of a crowd. I met a little girl and had our local guide ask her to write her name on my notepad. In beautiful cursive writing, she wrote "Mayda".
We continued down the road in our van and stopped at a beach owned by Seventh Day Adventist. There was a group from the university using the area for three days; tenting each night; having fun playing potato sac races, etc. We had a beautiful very of this very large, mid 50 degree brackish-water, Lake Titicaca.
We had lunch with Aymara people; different facial features than others we had seen in Cuzco area. Upon our arrival, the people lined up and each of us shook every hand. Two days ago we each bought bread in Oropesa to bring to these people as a thanks for the lunch we received from them. The lunch was delicious: quinoa soup, fresh cheese, fried cheese, boiled and toasted fava beans, 3 ways to present quinoa bread, many potatoes, and mint tea. I took pictures of the people and showed each their picture…saw some smiles! After lunch, they sang us a song and then we sang "You are my sunshine". It was a nice visit.
Our van drive included a ride on an unpaved road to a more rural area. We know because there are few Sunday transport vans in this area. While some areas designate property lines with buried body and headstone, this area used piles of rock and dirt. Finally we pulled into Chucuito, the village where our hotel is located, but we discovered a celebration happening in its plaza with a colonial church! People were celebrating the school being 50 years in operation and each grade level danced or played instruments in very colorful outfits. We then stopped at an Incan Temple of Fertility, with a walk back to our hotel.
Great day, cool, yet sunny, weather…wonderful people and beautiful lake.

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