Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Very Busy Day

March 3, 2014
Post by Jordan Martin & Maddie Assarsson
Today we visited the ruins of the ancient Incan Sun Temple. We climbed to the top of the ruins, and along the way we learned a little bit about the history of the Incan civilization. The ruins were built on a steep mountain, but carefully placed rocks and stones allowed us to successfully explore it. The structure of the ruins was very advanced and well engineered. During the 14th century, Incans built the ruins by taking rocks from nearby mountains. The ruins were fascinating and the views of Ollantaytambo were beautiful.
            After visiting the ruins, we had lunch in the main plaza in town. There we settled down and enjoyed a delicious meal, and were given comic relief by multiple dogs entering the restaurant during our meal. After lunch, we had free time; some people explored town, others went back to the hotel to rest. Later that afternoon we engaged in leadership activities led by Randall and Javier. We learned about the different types of personalities and how different people use different parts of their brain. The theme of the activities was to try to get people of different personality types to work together in order to have a good balance when trying to reach a goal.
            Our pizza dinner was followed by a despacho ceremony led by a local shaman. During this religious ceremony, we were lectured about the selfish mindset of North America. The shaman encouraged us to connect with our roots. Each of us then shared a wish  or a prayer with the shaman, and he responded with an idea of how that wish can be fulfilled. Our wishes were placed in the prayer bundle, which was then placed in the fire. The fire was built over a chakana (a religious symbol, like a cross, with the four directions represented); the women poured chicha (a local beverage) at the four corners and the men poured wine to complete the prayer. At the end of this religious ceremony, we sat around the fire for a Meeting for Worship. We reflected in silence about the experience. 


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