Saturday, June 30, 2012

Inti Raymi VIII, Kids Dogs and Food

Many of these photos don't even need any description so this will mostly be more "show" than "tell" though there are a few things I have to share my thoughts about.  I wouldn't be me otherwise, would I?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Moving To Cotacachi: The Book

I've been getting a lot of interest from readers of my blog about some of the more specific information involved in moving to Cotacachi.  I love corresponding with people who write to me but it also occurred to me that there are so many questions that go unasked that I started putting together a blog post or two about this information.  Pretty soon I had a half dozen of them and I was nowhere near done.

I decided to write a little booklet sharing some of my insights and those of others who have made the move.  Then it occurred to me that having a resource section would be a good idea, too.  That way you could discover who to talk to about what.  It would take a little longer to write as well, especially since I have to do quite a bit of research on much of it.

Now I'm getting to the slightly overwhelmed place where I have all kinds of things in all kinds of places but when I look at it I just see a mess.  I'm not really all that worried about that part, though, because I think that will start coming together as I keep writing.

Here's where I need help: I need to know what you want to know.  What are the questions you have about moving here?  What aren't you hearing about from people who write blogs, books, and websites?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Inti Raymi, Part VII, the Adults

Sunday was the day for the adults.  I'm not sure when they started their "takeover" of the square but I heard it was around 10:30 or so and I didn't start taking photos until about 12:30.  This is much more serious than the kids have been for the past two days but there's still an air of festivity about it.  This is a festival so filled with the symbolism of generations that I couldn't begin to pick it all out--not even a small percentage of it.

There's the harvest festival part where they are thanking the appropriate deities for harvest.  Then there's the ceremonial reclaiming of sacred tribal lands taken by the Spaniards (that's why these always take place in the square across from the main church because the Spaniards always built the Catholic churches on sacred ground).  There's the whole "cowboys and Indians" part of it with the mastery of the whip and the chaps and hats.  Somewhere in there is the whistling that is designed to alter their state of reality and it can bring on hallucinations even without the assistance of the corn beer or sugar cane liquor they drink (if you haven't already watched one of the YouTube videos, you can hear the whistling by watching one of the first three on  the blog post Inti Raymi II).  It's all wrapped up in something that is very symbolic and meaningful to the indigenous tribes here.

This is just down the block from me when I was on my way to church at about 10:30.  The police are out in numbers.  These are just the ones at this intersection.  Everywhere I turned, there were more of them--soldiers, too.

This was shortly after I got home from church.  Yes, that couple is running to get away from the group headed their way.  Each of the village groups (I heard there were over 30 of them this year) have leaders who are in charge of keeping their group in order.  You'll see the men who are moving backwards in a row right in front of all the rest of the village men (and sometimes some women).  Their job is to keep order so those who have already been celebrating (or actually never stopped celebrating from last night) don't get carried away.  It's still a good idea to get out of their way.  They don't really mean to run people over but  sometimes they get carried away with themselves.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Inti Raymi, Part VI, more Older Children

There were hundreds of children out on Friday (with the little kids) and again on Saturday.  They are grouped together by their villages or sometimes in the case of the children, their schools.  The adults who were on the square on Sunday were all in village-delineated groups but some of the children were there with a group rather than representing a specific village.

You can tell when it's a village group by the way they carry out a specific style of something.  There are a few who have specific headgear and others who wear a particular kind of clothing that is unique to the others you will see.  However they divide up, they all have pride in what they wear and what they do.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Inti Raymi, Part V, Older Children

You saw the little kids from Friday, well here are the older ones from Saturday.  There are adults mixed in and some of the little ones as well but the event featured the school-aged children.

Here we are back at the park just over a half block from my apartment.  I'm so lucky to live so close to so much fun activity.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Inti Raymi, Part IV, More Children

I just couldn't stop taking pictures of the little ones.  They're so adorable and they take this so seriously.

I'm not sure if she was praying, trying to keep from having to hold hands with her neighbor, or just seriously focused of what was happening.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Photo Roundup

/ Index.php? Option = com_content & view = article & id = 43 & Itemid = 1With all the activity going on with Inti Raymi, I still had a chance to get a few odds and ends of photos that I thought you might enjoy or just get a little chuckle from.

This photo is taken from the official Cotacachi website and it shows the very beginning of the Inti Raymi celebration with "the ritual bath, the ancestral offering, and blessing of the products of Pacha Mama [the mother volcano]" that took place on June 16 at  Cuicocha, a nearby lake.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Inti Raymi, Part III, the Children

Yesterday was the parade for the children for Inti Raymi.  This is where they get to do the same circle dances their dads will do but they do it in miniature all the way around.  Enough typing, enjoy the children.
All the children in yesterday's parade were pre-schoolers (there were a few older children there but they were assisting their little brothers and/or sisters)  The littlest of them were all ready to do something just like the grownups.  If you saw the videos from the other day on my post "Inti Raymi, Part II," you heard the music (I use the term loosely) and saw the dancing (again, very loose usage--more like stamping of feet).  Well, this is when the little ones do the same thing.  Throughout you'll see musical instruments and sometimes you'll see the little circles of children around the people (generally adults or much older children) playing instruments.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Goodbye Dan, Part II

Last week, in Goodby Dan Part I, I started telling you about the minister who was going back to Germany for a year and I had so many photos that I decided to split the story up into two parts.  As promised, here's part 2.

The second presentation by the youth of the church had spoken words so the content wasn't as clear to me as the mime presentation was but it definitely had the same theme and the actors were pretty amazing.  I was particularly impressed with their makeup (I know, how superficial is that!).

This was one of my favorite scenes.  The young woman in the pink sweater thinks she can sing.  You can tell from the other young woman across from her that not everyone shared in that opinion.  That one didn't require any Spanish language skills to understand.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Inti Raymi, Part II

Yesterday you got the articles and today you get the videos.

This one will definitely give you the inside look at the time when the men take over the town square.  I won't be getting this close to the action but I'll still have some good photos.

This one has a lot of Spanish being spoken in it but I didn't find it any deterrent to figuring out what was going on, especially when they were passing the plastic cup around.

You may want to stop watching this one after a couple of minutes--it really doesn't get any better but it was interesting to see the more private celebrations going on.

This one has nothing to do with Inti Raymi--I just happened to see it and like how it portrayed Cotacachi and threw it in as a bonus.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inti Raymi, Part I

Inti Raymi is coming.  This is an ancient Incan celebration to the Sun God and begins on June 21, summer solstice, each year.  Cotacachi is the only place left in Ecuador where Inti Raymi is celebrated with as much "vigor" as it is.

Everywhere I read about Inti Raymi I find something that is, at the very least, shaded with different meanings about what happens and, more often, downright contradictory.  All sources seem to agree that Gringos are welcome at the festivities and there will be tear gas at some point in the celebrations.

I've been looking around to find interesting bits of information for you to read or pictures to see before the actual even occurs so you can learn as much or as little as you want about the goings on.

This photo is taken from one of the best articles I've seen about Inti Raymi, from the site.  This link should take you to the correct page translated into English.