This morning mass was held in two churches in Ollantaytambo. The services focused on the importance of El Señor de Choquekillka, one of the town’s prominent religious symbols. Prayers contained a fascinating mixture of Spanish and Quechua, the language of the Incas. After church, we congregated for lunch in a garden near El Tambo. However, today we ate Pachamanca-style. For those of you unfamiliar with this traditional Andean form of cooking (for shame, parents), a stone oven was buried underground to cook potatoes, lima beans, chicken, pork, and cuy (guinea pig!). We ate with our hands and washed it all down with chicha morada, a drink made from fermented corn (not to be confused with regular chica, an alcoholic beverage). All of our homestay families were invited as well so that we could enjoy one of our last meals together.
Later that afternoon, we continued the INTENSE COMPETITION of soccer with some members of our host families. Surprisingly, Señor Viacava’s team continued to come out on top. Alex maintained his famous streak of falling down before scoring, while Pancho (the organizer of the homestay families) lived up to his nickname as the “brick wall” goalie. Both of Alex’s hermanitos joined in, and one managed to score a goal too.
In the evening, we had our regular meeting to recap the day and discuss its highlights. Tomorrow will be our last full day with our homestay families in Ollantaytambo – we’ll miss them as we head off to Cusco on Tuesday.