Monday, October 15, 2012

A Return to the Uros

The finished and aging reed boat, one with the Titicaca waters
After quite the journey over the central Peruvian highlands, from the remote and incredible Ashaninka villages, I returned to the Uros island of Khantati. Thousands of miles from where I grew up, I felt as if I was returning home. Greeting Victor and Wilber with hugs and once again enjoying amazing Uros lake trout, my girlfriend Lauren, who came to visit briefly from D.C. and I feel as if our real place is on a small island made by hardworking hands on cold and clear Andean waters.

The wise glares of Victor (forefront) and Wilber (background)

You dont need a lot of time to become very close. Though the wonderful Vilca family of Khantati came into my life recently, theres no doubt that we will be part of each others lives in the future. Yet returning to the island and seeing new houses built, the island remade, the deterioration of the boat in just a few months makes me respect the immense knowledge of Victor and family. This knowledge will take a long time to understand. I have only just arrived at the surface.

Habraham (Victors son-in-law to be) and I

My last week in Peru will be spent with the totora boat builders of the north coast. In a small beach town named Huanchaco, the boat builders are keeping a 2000 year old tradition alive begun with the ancient Moche culture, to keep day old fish in local bellies.

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