Beyond NY Research | Peru Summer 2014

4 Days?! No!!

Wait, what do you mean I only have 4 more days?! No!!

This past week was an awesome work week. I started and got through most of my interviews and helped organize and analyze some Nick Gibaldicool sets of human remains! The interviews are for the documentary that I’ll be making at the end of this trip. What documentary? Well! This field school counts for two Anthro classes (for me, but it varies student to student) and so I need to do a final project—one class final is a paper, the other final is a film! Prof. Gagnon has been really awesome about letting me get to pursue my passion all while tackling this incredible experience!! Perks of Wagner? I think yes. 😀 It’s been a lot of fun to schedule the teams for interviews, set them up with the few tools and props I have and can scavenge, and to get creative with settings and lighting! The learning experience covers lots!

Over the weekend, the bioarch team traveled to Otuzco to experience some new landscape! Our hospijade and labs are close to the shore (the hospijade being...ON the shore). Otuzco is in the Peruvian highlands, the highest point being about 8,700 feet above sea level! Certainly a change up, espsecially because I’m from Long Island, New York. As we walked through the town, the streets were really steep; climbing up the street was difficult on the lungs since we were going Otuzco Viewhigher and higher in altitude. I’ve never experienced the woozy feeling of climbing high above sea level like that. But when we got tothe top of the town, I think it was one of the most beautiful settings I’ve ever seen!! It was a perfect day weather-wise too. One of our team, Nick, was pretty sick with stomach pains, but even he fought through for the beautiful views! Then we headed into the Plaza de Armas. Most larger towns and cities have one in their respective centers—they’re kind of like the town square, but bigger. There we saw Marketplace Sunday at its busiest, which was really relaxed! We were the only white folks there and surprisingly, we didn’t cause much of a ruckus. Usually when we walk through places and stand out, people stare or call at us, or try and sell us everything. But Otuzco was much more calm, thankfully! Speaking of calm, these alpacas were pretty calm too. We saw some dressed up alpacas ready to take photos! I don’t know how calm I’d be dressed like that. 

And this past Tuesday and Wednesday, I went with the other field school students to Chiclayo! It’s about 4 hours away, so we got ourselves ready for an overnight trip and took a bus. The bus was actually pretty neat. Since there aren’t trains in Peru, most people Chicalyotake a big bus—kind of like a Greyhound or a Hampton Jitney, expect it’s double decker and WAY more comfortable!! When we arrived, we hounded down some awesome lunch, and then made our way to the Sipan museum. That was a really cool museum with some interesting media use. For example, we watched a short video that talked about the depiction of the gods on ceramics and textiles, and the video displayed a 3-d model of what each god may have looked like based on the people’s descriptions and physical depictions. It was very clever. After the museum, we set ourselves at this swank hotel. It had air conditioning and a shower per room! Mindblowing!! The day after, we made our way to Túcume, which is a hugely incredible site! It was massive!! There were so many adobes and pyramids!! We got to hike up to the top of one, which gave us some sweet views. Then we walked through another set up, checking out a small adobe that was excavated a distance away. It was beautiful and hardly touched! After some lunch, the group headed out back towards home! We finally got in around 9pm, ate dinner, and knocked out.

So now, we've finished our work week, packed up the human remains, and are ready for flights soon! Saturday, a lot of the team is leaving, and then Sunday, Nick, Prof. Gagnon, and I are headed to Lima on our way back to the States on Monday night! I can’t believe it’s coming down to the end already!! No!!!