|Francisco Pizarro, the Original Tourist - "Where can|
I get my photo taken with the baby alpaca lady?"
Even as I draft this post at 3 am, the sacred Noche del Turismo rages on in the Plaza de Armas, a quarter mile down the hill from our studio. No doubt introduced by Francisco Pizarro himself, the Noche has become a key rite of the sun festival Inti Raymi. Though Cusco's Original Tourist is long gone, less flashy invaders such as ourselves continue to play a role.
But I digress. This is Cassie's bailiwick. She'll tell you about the commodification of indigenous cultures--and maybe even share our early brush with a Pachamama-UFO cult. Or not.
So we're here, gearing up to capture the sights and sounds of Peru over the next two and a half months. We've brought cameras and audio recorders and fancy bound journals. We're specifically interested in learning what we can about the social and psychological impacts of global warming in Peru. The threats to Peruvians are real and immediate. According to the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, after Bangladesh and Honduras, Peru faces the greatest ecological and social risk from global warming. Among the more significant threats is the rapid loss of the Quelccaya Ice Cap, one of the principal sources of water for western Peru. In Cusco, a city of more than half a million people, the municipal utility rations water access. For most of the afternoon and after 10 in the evening, the city water's shut off.
A study of climate change in Peru--we realize that's nothing new. But we want to see what we can add to the conversation. We'd especially like to introduce new voices and perspectives, preferably from Peruvians themselves. Cassie's reaching out to Peruvian activists and social justice organizations. We're both engaging people on the street.
I also plan to share my attempts at running over the summer, hoping to sustain my fitness for the Oregon Coast 50K in October. So far, I've come up empty, but I'm hoping to find a treadmill or flat empty field at 12,000 feet.
With any luck, we won't get abducted by vegan aliens. If you don't here from us every few days, please contact the U.S. embassy.
Anything to add, Cassie?