The weather is changing. A chill rain falls where I am in the US.. The leaves in the valley are on the edge of becoming a miraculous gold and my street will seem a tunnel of bright color.
With the hint of cold in the air, I want something heavier than the light fare of summer, something with the weight and nutrition to sustain as days grow shorter and new colors appear.
My thoughts turn to a dish I have not had for awhile, though it is a classic of the Peruvian cuisine that increasingly occupies me, lomo saltado. A stir fry of tender beef, red onions and firm tomatoes served with french fries and rice, it is just dark enough, colorful enough, and savory enough to satisfy me as fall flirts.
In Cusco’s Almudena neighborhood there was a little old lady who was nice looking and all the people of the neighborhood knew her. It was not because she was pleasant and good with people. It was all the contrary. She spent her time watching and listening to people’s conversations, their arguments, fights, and so on. She would tell all this to other people in the neighborhood in order to make people look bad.
She was known as the old gossip. She always stood in her window to watch people go by and many times she would make fun of them to make them feel bad. The neighbors were all tired of hat the old gossip would do and they wanted to come up with a plan to get rid of her so she would not bother them anymore.
Qhapaq Ñan , Arco Tica Tica (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Yesterday, in the city of Cuzco, a gathering of tour guides was carried out. It was held at the Tika Tika arch where a group of some 12 persons gathered. The Institute of Culture organized the gathering to promote and give value to the Qhapaq Ñan, the Inca Highway in its Chinchaysuyo extension.
The city of Cusco is the center of the Inca Empire. From its main square, its Plaza de Armas, extend outwards a network of roads perfected by the Incas. The Qhapaq Ñan had the objective of unifying the diverse people of Tawantinsuyo, the Inca Domain.
The uncucha (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) is a well known tuber that is consumed in many parts of the world, as well as in Cusco. The word we call it is just one of many. It is also called yautía, malanga, macal, quicamote, okomu, and more. In Cusco, though, it goes by uncucha. Even if not as famous as the potato people know its benefits and seek it out.
Filled with vitamins and health benefits, the uncucha comes to us from Quillabamba in Cusco’s La Convención province. It is grown there and in tropical valley close by. This wonderful tuber arrives in the Imperial City from September through April. The trucks transporting it arrive every morning at 5 am. From there, the vendors buy or obtain merchandise and take it to all the different markets of the city, including San Pedro, Cascaparo, Wanchac, and Ttio.
People who do not have a specific profession, in Cusco, find themselves working at many different things. They learn various tasks in order to advance and have a normal life. Many people are dedicated to the business of raising animals, what we call ganadería.
In Cusco and its provinces you will people who have worked in this craft for a long time. The people who practice it are mostly older and they prefer to live by the side of animals and feel great warmth for them.
Once upon a time there was a shepherd boy named José who was 7 years old. Every day he would leave home early in the morning to take his sheep to pasture. He would go with them to a canyon where he could keep watch and they could not escape his sight.
On that slope he met another boy and became good friends with him. Every morning, when he would leave home he would take extra food and clothes. One morning his aunt, with whom he lived, realized food and clothing was missing and she asked him: “Who are you taking those clothes and food?” With great joy the boy said, “I am taking it for my friend who plays with me while my sheep are grazing.”
An old legend tells that the ancient people were able to converse with the stars. One upon a time a star came down to earth, having become enchanted with a young man. They talked and talked as hours passed by.
Because she was the daughter of heaven they reached a time where she had to return to the sky even with heaviness in her heart.
The youth was very sad at seeing her leave. He decides he needed to fly up to the sky to look for her. He went to ask his best friend, the condor, if he could help him
Unsettling, irritating, and downright painful. Those are words that come to mind when one thinks of menopause, the physical changes marking the end of menstrual cycles in women. Though all women who live past a certain age go through this change, their experience of it may vary widely. This leaves scientists scratching their heads to figure out if there are patterns here and why women’s experience can be so different.
A couple of years ago, Eliana Ojeda from Cusco’s Andina University along with three Chilean colleagues, Juan E. Blümmel, María Soledad Vallejo, and Pablo Lavín published a study in the prominent scientific journal Maturitas in which they claimed to have found a pattern. Their data say, they claim, that Quechua women in rural Cusco experience menopause more strongly than urban “Hispano-Mestiza” women in the city of Cusco.
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