Huañuscuro, the beautiful bellybutton of the Peruvian countryside

Venturing away from the Old Folks´ Home in Chucuito, I found myself in the small village of Huañuscuro along the Peruvian countryside with my host Julio (the link is to his "A glimpse in the thoughts of...") doing a bit of field research to gauge community interest in clean-burning stoves for Project Suyana (check out the site for the health and social justice reasons we are pursuing sustainable, clean-burning stove technology). Nestled along the fertile Lake Titikaka pampa, I had wanted to visit the Peruvian countryside for a while now and was not disappointed.  The name of the village comes from the Aymara word for bellybutton, cururu, which was given to the village since it´s hills resemble an umbilical cord emerging from the Andean plateau into Lake Titikaka.

Far away from the hustle and bustle of Puno, it is definitely one of my favorite places in Peru. Among other things, I helped the family with gathering food (barley, wheat) for the animals, slaughtering a sheep, ventured to little-known Incan ruins, and enjoyed a dance celebration as part of the Peruvian carnaval. The pictures are below. WARNING: There are graphic pictures of the slaughter. There will be a warning in the captions before the pictures come up in the slideshow, so feel free to skip them!
We harvested some barley for the sheep and donkeys, and this is Julio carrying it back. Barely is incredibly heavy when you have to carry it through mud, but the tranquility makes up for it.
With my load of barley.
Overlooking Ccopamaya from Huañuscuro.
When the lake rises, this raised part of land becomes and island. Called Jisqajatha, it used to have an Incan name until the local population reclaimed the original Aymara name.  It comes from the Aymara words for ´little seed´.
The Titikaka pampa.  Far in the distance were snow capped mountains and Bolivia, but apparently the camera couldn´t capture it.
Tying up the sheep before slaughter. SKIP  THE  NEXT  FOUR PICTURES  IF  YOU  ARE  QUEASY.
About to cut the throat.
Me and Gregorio removing the skin.
Will make a nice rug.
The next few pictures are of the dance contest in the next town over.
The next few pictures are when we climbed the the mountain in the next town over and stopped by some Incan Ruins.
Washing a mid-morning snack halfway up in an Incan spring.
A bit hard to make out, the Inca put walls around this spring. The surrounding area was idyllic
A view of Huañuscuro from up high.
On the right are Amantani and Taquile Islands.
According to Julio, these were ceremonial pieces that were left by the local shaman when they do their annual rituals for the earth, sky, and lake.
We took the donkeys out to get a large load of barley and wheat.
The typical fare, sheep head stew.
And another variation, sheep jaw stew.
At the local meeting on Fridays.
We harvested some barley for the sheep and donkeys, and this is Julio carrying it back. Barely is incredibly heavy when you have to carry it through mud, but the tranquility makes up for it.
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0 #1 dad 2010-02-21 02:53
Wow ... again

I almost want to fly out and travel with you!. Let me know when you get to Cozumel MX ;0)

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