Hello fellow Glimpsers, parents, and friends!
This is Larry writing today’s blog after a long day packed with enthusiasm, singing, and culture. It was day four of our 18 day journey and the theme was Indigenous Worldview- or in other words the act of observing, learning, and experiencing the unique practices of the indigenous communities. Our theme led us to the beautiful, rural town of Salasaca. The one-hour bus ride was enhanced dramatically by the sheer enthusiasm and excitement of our group that resulted in sixty minutes worth of singing. Our group is incredibly unified and relatively comfortable with each other – given that just four days ago we were complete strangers and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, much less whether we would be able to manage it. I can confidently say that we are an amazing group with strong personalities so unique that we are like no other.
The view is incredible and the community is completely appreciative of their surroundings. Our theme was clarified during breakfast at the Cafe del Tren where we learned about the sacred connections between the human and the earth around him/her. These connections are the archetype (model) for the indigenous values we would soon experience. We all agreed as a group that those indigenous values are very different from our own and those special values were revealed to us in Salasaca. We were shown the typical, daily jobs they performed and how those practices form their identity. Special highlights of the day would be learning the process of weaving, the process of obtaining the thread, and how it all culminates to a beautiful product known as an “artesania”. We overcame language barriers and stepped out of our comfort zone when handling guinea pigs, milking cows, wearing the traditional outfits, and grinding up the corn used for “humitas” -typical dish that tasted amazing!
My experience not only as a Glimpser but also as the leader for this particular day was tricky and a challenge in of it self. I had never before become a leader in such a formal way and the responsibilities seemed overwhelming. However, I was committed to my task and even met some locals in Salasaca who regarded me as one of their own. It truly was a walk in someone else’s sandals.