Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter Weekend part 2

Before I carry on where I left off, there was one detail about the Good Friday procession in Pisac that I forgot to mention. Towards the end of the spectacle, as the crowds converged back on the church, there were moments at which everyone in the square crossed themselves in one fluid movement. Seeing these hundreds of arms moving in unison was pretty impressive. Religion can inspire some extraordinary things (in good and bad ways of course).

Saturday night in Cusco was a night out with some other volunteers. Inevitably, at one point we ended up in an Irish pub. There, I met two guys who had gone to school at Judd (a school in Tonbridge). It seemed like a strange coincidence, but then if I am going to meet other English people out here, it is most likely going to be people from a similar background to mine. There was also an Australian woman ranting about the floods of English gap year students on this continent, and how they give the impression that they know how to handle everything the world throws at them (and of course we don't). I thought it was an unfair generalisation, but the fact is that a large number of said British teenagers, like me, were probably educated in an environment that is very far removed from the real world. So she had a point.

The rest of the evening was unremarkable - I probably had slightly too much to drink, but made to our hostel in one piece. As I mentioned before, I got up early to see the morning mass at the cathedral. It was in fact not quite what I was expecting. I hadn't realised before, but the cathedral has no organ. Instead there was a Yamaha keyboard with speakers and sound effects, and in place of a choir a group of 5 ladies with microphones. No amount of Catholic devotion can get rid of the fact that this is a developing country.

Having said that, as I left to get back to Pisac, it looked as if there were preparations for a parade/procession in the main square. That is how they do things here. I didn't stay, partly because I wanted to get on with things in Pisac, and partly because these parades have all started to merge together.

I know I have spent a lot of time talking about religion recently - I will soon have lots to say about teaching, and there are things I want to say about the society, both here in Pisac and what I can make out of Peru in general. However, for now there is the more pressing call of supper. Tomorrow, I am not starting teaching like I expected, because there is a strike. So I have time to plan some lessons, write, and sort out this pub quiz.

P.S. If anyone has seen the news about the recent Shining Path attack, don't worry - it's not the region I'm in. So much for my belief they were dead and buried. Though now they're more drug traffickers than Maoist revolutionaries.

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