Hi, it’s Elliot. Today we participated in the “Search of the Treasure” game, which took place high up in the Andes at an elevation of about 13,000 feet. We were divided into four groups for the game.
We were greeted by people wearing traditional and ceremonial clothes. Some people were wearing clothes representing the devil and a man was dressed as an Inca King. He chanted in Quechua, the traditional language, and then we started the first challenge, hair braiding. One girl in each group sat down, and with the help of a few locals, we braided as many braids as we could in five minutes. It was really hard to do and I could only do two braids out of our group’s 29. The whole time we were chanting to try and get more points.
After the braiding, we drove to a weaving center. After an introduction we had to pair up with one of the weavers and finish their weavings. It was really complicated because there was a special order for the yarn. I couldn’t do it by myself, so I ended up having a boy set it all up for me and then I just threaded the yarn through. Even with him doing most of the work, my bracelet wasn’t very good.
The next challenge was my favorite. Earlier we had learned that the shepherds used slingshots to scare away foxes. Now we got our own slingshots and we had to hit targets. There were balloons, hats, little guitars, and bottles. At first I kept missing because I was holding the slingshot wrong, but I learned how and I hit a couple of the targets. It was really fun getting to watch some of the Peruvians because they were really good.
On the way to our next challenge, we stopped to eat lunch and to visit a school. It was cold outside so we ate in the bus and then we walked up to the school. Everyone was outside. When we walked up some of the kids started playing music for us. After the music some more kids performed a local dance. It was really interesting to see the clothes that the dancers wore Then, we gave themgifts like school supplies and Frisbees. Some of us also brought things that represented our home state and told the kids about them.
After more driving, we arrived at a market where our next and last challenge took place. Each team had a dance instructor and we had to learn a dance and then dress up in costumes and perform it. After practicing in an alley, we awalked to a little church and performed the dances in the courtyard. It was really fun to perform and to watch the other groups perform. Once the dancing was over, we counted all our points to see who won. The prize was hats for everyone in the group, but my group got third. Then there was an individual prize for the person who had earned the most points on their own. I tied for second place and got a Parcheesi board. The board was special because the pieces were animals from the Andes. There was a condor, a llama, a puma, and a vicuna. After a long day I was happy to eat and get to bed.
So far, I have really enjoyed the trip. It has been better than I thought it would and it isn’t even over yet. My favorite parts so far have been the light show in Lima and the views of the Andes, which are amazing. I will write again in the rainforest.