GalleryKid portraits of Q'ewar

Here's a preview of part of our portraits at Q'ewar. These are kids of some of the mothers at Q'ewar who come to the school (they call it a guarderia) in the afternoon along with their maestro, Nidia. The streets here are long and straight and really stunning as are these kids. P.S. Sorry for their small size (the photos, not the children), but it's all the energy our net connex could muster. View Gallery »

"I just had a peanut butter and honey sandwich without the bread."

— Matt, after stuffing handfuls of peanuts and a few spoonfuls of honey into his face
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Charla 3: Agricultura

Yesterday we had our third and final charla. Most of the women here have a garden or a small farm (chakra) and most use pretty basic, conventional ag methods to grow corn and fava and soy. Some raise chickens, some use guano from their cuy or cows, etc, but mostly it's tractors and bulls simultaneously ripping through and compacting the soil, commercial pesticides, fertilizers, dug irrigation, and monocultures.

So we focused on sustainable agriculture and again used Jeavons' GROW BIOINTENSIVE. Matt double dug a few rows, I drew a couple illustrations to show how to make compost, how to plant intensively (close together and hexagonally instead of in rows), and how roots really want to travel down more than 6" intro the ground. During the charla Matt demonstrated double digging and ... View Post »

Based on some of the merchandise we saw in the markets we visited today, "second hand" refers to the one taking the cell phone out of your pocket.

StoryHello? Hello? Can you hear me?

Called our soon-to-be broker today. The first 3 times it went to voicemail. It turns out he was actually having trouble connecting and getting email. Figure that; thousands of miles away in internet land our broker couldn't use his phone.

When we finally got him on the call… 

Broker: W-e-l-l w-it-h i-n-v-e-s-tment it's a-l-l abo-u-t c-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-i-o-n. The a-c-t-ual i-n-v-e-s-t-m-e-n-t p-a-r-t i-s pretty s-i-m-p-l-e. S-o-r-t o-f like i-f y-o-u w-a-n-t t-o m-a-k-e a p-a-i-r o-f p-a-n-t-s, y-o-u-'-r-e g-o-i-n-g t-o need t-o d-e-c-i-d-e w-h-a-t c-o-l-o-r t-h-e-y s-h-o-u-l-d b-e. I-'-m n-o-t t-r-ying t-o s-u-g-g-e-s-t i-t-'-s t-h-a-t s-i-m-p-l-e, but it's close. So f-i-r-s-t o-f-f, i-t-'-s a g-o-o-d i-d-e-a to get an i-d-e-a o-f w-h-e-r-e y-o-u-'-r-e c-o-m-i-n-g f-r-o-m. Y-o-u ... View Story »

Charla 2: Can you hear the sound of those onions?

Yesterday we gave our second charla, elaborating on the cooking preparations that we had mentioned in the first one. Everyone assembled down in an open area next to the school. 

We shook milk into butter, showed the two different ways to make whey (1 - from making butter and 2 - from cutting milk with lime and making cheese), showed them quinoa and wheat sprouts, spoke about the importance of drinking water (and not cola), and also touched a bit on the mystery that is como bajas tu peso.

We also wheeled out a portable stove and had everyone listen to the sounds that food makes while it's cooking. We had one burner going with apples in a bit of water and the other with onions in oil in a frying pan. We turned up and down the heat to demonstrate what over-boiling looks and sounds ... View Post »

"Don't you remember that time when mom made you that thing? Well here it is in a bag!"

— Anjuli summarizing a popular advertising ploy
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Notes from the charla

If you're interested in taking a look at our nutricíon charla notes, here they are. The internet is so slow it took us about 9 hours to upload this one file. So please enjoy.

Also, here's a sneak peak at our compost bin (thanks for the instructions, Justin!). 

"It's something you'd play to your child while they're taking a bath"

— Anjuli describing Belle and Sebastian
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GalleryUp the cerro

We tried not to promote erosion too much when we traipsed up a gully in our backyard last week, up a cerro and across part of the ridge line behind Q'ewar. Only a slightly embarrassing 2000 ft accent in 2 hours. But hey, we're just adjusting to this whole high altitude stuff. View Gallery »