Even though last night was Halloween and people actually celebrate it here, I decided to stay in. I had a veryyy eventful weekend with Ollantaytambo's anniversary celebrations. On Friday night, my friends and I walked into the plaza to discover a huge crowd of people surrounded by cases upon cases of beer for sale. There was a rotation of Peruvian bands on the giant stage, and I made it a personal goal to get on stage by the end of the festival. Welll guessss what...
Dancing with the lead singers! (yes, I made sure my friends had my camera before going on stage)
And believe it or not, it only took a few tries to get up there! Yes, the stage was guarded by a police officer, but I was able to overcome said obstacle by ruthlessly flirting with a guitar player from the dance floor below. Mission: Completed.
The next night we headed to the Blue Puppy (an overly touristy restaurant) for some veggie burgers and mojitos before once again checking out the plaza. This night was similar to the one prior, except that it was pouring rain. I couldn't think of another opportunity I've ever had to dance in the rain to a Peruvian band, so my friends and I went to town.
At least until we got sufficiently drenched and had to flee the scene.
The next day was the bull fight which was surprisingly different than any other bull fight I've seen. Unlike Spanish bull fights, Peruvians don't actually kill or hurt the bulls (other than frustrating and exhausting them). Plus, you have the added entertainment of the drunk Peruvian men jumping into the ring to give it a go (one of which was my friend Carlo, although he was one of the more successful ones). One said borracho (drunk) pissed the bullfighters off so much that the leader of the municipality (dressed in a clown suit, don't ask me why), got into a brawl with him. I think I can safely say that the humans were harmed more than the bulls themselves.
I forgot to mention that these "bulls" were incredibly tiny. This fool in the blue was trampled about 5 seconds after this picture was taken. He survived but his pride did not.So, as you can see, after all that excitement I was less than ready to gear up for a Halloween bash. Hopefully I'll have a fairly tame week to recover from all of the excitement. Tomorrow the health program is going to Cusco for "family time" and on Thursday we head up to Patacancha for a Health Day. Patacancha is one of our weaving communities about an hour away from Ollanta. I'm told to prepare for rain, cold, or snow (!) so I think I'll be wearing pretty much everything I own.
Till next time!