Saturday, September 22, 2007

It Seems A Meteor Crash in Peru Has Caused A Mysterious Illness!

I never thought I'd be writing about Peru again so soon. But a recent cosmic event directs my attention back to the ancestral land land of the Incas.

That fresh crater you see above was caused by an apparent meteorite. It's now filled in with skunky looking water.
The links fill you in about the event and the cascading information flow of conflicting ideas and information regarding what is going on in the area near Lake Titicaca. Noxious fumes, earthquake-like tremors, explosions, sick villagers--who will really ever know what went on down there. All I can say for sure is--it's a truly interesting area.

I fully intend to write about our day on Lake Titicaca and our visit to the native people that live on floating islands there.
Yes, floating islands--made of reeds.
But not today.

Today, I'm going to briefly comment on the area around Lake Titicaca. The gateway to Lake Titicaca is the small but incredibly vibrant city of Puno. Instead of travelling to Puno by air, Cory planned it so that we would take the ten-hour train ride from Cusco to Puno. We love travelling by train when we can. (A three day trip on Rovos Rail was one of the highlights of our trip to South Africa in 2002.)
The hours flew by as we watched the countryside change and we ascended into even higher altitudes. I took a lot of pictures out of the window and the observation car.
As far as I can discern, the people and village described in the newspaper accounts are very closely related to the folks in our pictures--in geography, language and customs--direct descendants of the Incas and their kin.
They are very colorful people.
I really liked the felt bowler-like hats it seemed virtually everyone wore--man, woman, and child. These hats have a very high crown, a narrow brim, and sit very high on the head.

Even more, I really enjoyed how the Peruvian people decorated walls of their houses with hand drawn advertisements, political messages, and plain ol' personal expressions.

One final note on the meteorite--a quote from the LA Times story:

"Now that various experts from Japan and other countries have assured us there is nothing bad, we have decided this belongs to us," said Benito Mosaja Pari, 56, who called himself the village lieutenant governor.

"We're going to dig it out.
The scientists tell us this was part of a world that fell apart.
It has some value.
And now it's ours."

No comments: