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May 15, 2013:

Happy festival de Señor de Chokekilca! This weekend (May 15 - 20) is a pentecost festival where the entire town of Ollantaytambo gets together to dance, eat, and celebrate life. Many of our students are getting ready to participate in dance competitions and festivities in Ollantaytambo. Notably, our previous alumnus and volunteer Adrian will be competing in a traditional dance competition. We wish him the best of luck! Things continue to be busy besides the upcoming festivities at Mosqoy House - we are in full swing of planning the graduation coming up on June 1. We have officially reserved a room, and are currently working on getting the little things together for a successful day of fun and celebration with Mosqoy students and their families.

We have officially begun a renewed program of language and cultural exchange with the San Blas Spanish School. We welcomed about ten students coming from Holland and Australia in the house on May 7. We shared a delicious meal prepared by Marilyn and Karina while the Mosqoy students and San Blas students practiced their English and Spanish, respectively. Carmen and Rosmery created a lovely presentation on Ollantaytambo, including traditional customs, flora and fauna, and history. In addition, they offered a small workshop on Quechuan phrases such as hello, how are you (allillanchu) and thank you (añay). It was a night enjoyed by all participants, and we look forward to the bi-weekly exchanges with students from San Blas. The next exchange we’re looking to teach some basic Quechuan dances!

Mosqoy is starting a weekly team building event - the first week was a sports afternoon. Kristina and 8 students hiked up to a small concrete soccer pad to play soccer and volleyball on a beautiful day. In the coming weeks we are planning to have some more exercise days (learning yoga and basic capoeira), in addition to workshops on leadership (what makes a good leader, etc) and arts and crafts. The students recently moved rooms, and are keen to create name tags for their rooms. We are looking forward to new projects and ideas to create leaders and community among all the Mosqoy participants. On a sad note, the students and volunteers at Mosqoy officially said goodbye to Jose Luis. He went back to his native Bolivia after offering much time, energy, and support to our project. The students prepared an amazing goodbye meal with the help of Itayoshara and her mother, including flowers on the table. On Jose Luis’ last night before we dropped him off at the bus terminal, Raul tried to carry his trekking backpack which was roughly the same size as Raul. We had a good time but we still sad to see such a dedicated individual leave. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Our Kallpa K’oj project is currently in the works, with workshops planned for several communities about residential tourism, cooking for international tourists, and sexual health and family planning in the coming weeks. In addition, we are currently developing a position for a librarian in Qenqo where the students will accompany Kristina to train the new librarian. Students continue to support the Qente program by acting as translators for the monthly meetings: Johnny assisted in two meetings this month in Huaran and Amaru, while Emyluz hiked up to Cancha Cancha with Maggie.

We would like to thank all of our sponsors and supporters for their continued commitment to Mosqoy and our students! And a special Happy Mothers’ Day to all mothers associated with Mosqoy, we hope you had a restful and happy day.

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