Workin’ On The Farm

Today Mom, Grant, Jared, Justin (a friend of ours from church) and I went to the Bishop’s Grandmother’s farm. There were seven other people there, they were sisters from the church. They speak Quichua so we didn’t understand them. When we needed directions they spoke to Mom in Spanish.
We harvested corn and beans. The beans were growing up the corn stocks. The corn was very small and sometimes you couldn’t tell if there was corn or not on the stalk. The beans blended in with the rest of the corn stocks. There were usually between 2-20 beans on a corn stock.

There were flowers that had seeds that would stick to you and they were everywhere. They stuck to everything. At the end, the seeds were all over us and it took a long time to take them off. There were lots of bugs that sometimes jumped out at you when you were harvesting the corn. For lunch they offered beans and rice. Only Mom took some and she said they were delicious. Several people scooped rice and beans into their hand to eat. While the others shared several spoons.

Cascada Taxopamba

Yesterday we hiked a waterfall called Taxopamba. I didn’t think it would be much fun, but when we got down towards the river I saw a beautiful ravine. The beginning of the trail was steep and smooth which made it slippery, but for the rest of the hike, it was flattish and wet in some places.

Region

The surroundings varied between farmed hills and forested mountains. The trail was mostly dirt and rock. Next, we went through the rolling hills with farms. The majority of the farms were cow farms. The forest is where the waterfall was.

Waterfall

When we finally got to the waterfall we saw a small clear pool at the bottom. There was some pollution like fruits, nuts, and berries thrown by people into the water that made the area a bit untidy. We even saw a pair of underwear! The water was super clear so you could see to the bottom. The waterfall was two levels which was cool!

Snack Time!

For snack time we had some mandarin oranges, tiny bananas, pears, peanuts, and cheese bread. My favorite part of snack was the pears — they were the best pears that I have ever had. They were juicy and not too soft, but not too hard like an apple. The cheese bread was my least favorite part — it had too little cheese and too much bread.

We ate bananas, pears, and oranges. The bananas were short, maybe only 3 or 4 inches long.

The Dogs

There were two dogs that guided us from the start to the finish. They stayed with us and didn’t leave us till we left. One we called Waddles, we thought it looked like a pig body. We call that breed a “pig-dog”.

Waddles – pig dog – left
Goldy – right
I didn’t come up with the second name

So the dogs would walk ahead and do a lookout kind of thing. One time Neal was hiding totally out of site, but Waddles sensed him and stopped to warn us about Neal. Goldy would hang out with Grant while Waddles hung out with me.

Inti Raymi

Inti Raymi (in-tea-ray-me) is an indigenous holiday where they worship the sun god. Our friend Marcelo, invited us to dance with his community, San Pablo as a part of the celebration. We started at the edge of town then danced to the square. The rest of his community marched all the way here to Cotacachi from their homes, traveling 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles).

Marcelo told us that his group would be wearing leather chaps. They wear chaps because they are from the Spanish and this is the natives’ way of reclaiming their land from Spain.

The hat I am wearing in the picture above has four corners that represent the four directions of a compass and the point at the top represents the sun. The hat is made of wood. I would also wear the hat to stop people from bumping into me

At some points in the dance, everyone marches in a circle to mimic the rotation of the earth. They stomp because they are waking up the earth for planting season.

me and Marcelo dancing

Marching with the group was kind of stinky because of the sweaty men and it was very loud. When I was in the center of the group I couldn’t see over all the people. The dancers stomp the ground and I could feel the ground shaking.

My favorite part was the conch you blow and it makes the sound of a horn.