|The whole family met us at the airport with roses|
|Steph and Sisa on the ride back to Morochos|
|Craig and Tayanta on the ride back to Morochos|
|Antonio and Yupanqui provide music while Sisa and Tayanta dance|
Before we knew it, dinner was ready. The family knew that today was a holiday in the United States, so they prepared something very special: cuy (guinea pig). This is a traditional Andean food which is eaten on special occasions. We had eaten it at Sisa and Yupanqui's baptisms, and during the village's 76th anniversary celebration this past May. This was a guinea pig that they had raised and prepared themselves, and we were very honored that they prepared something so special in our honor.
|Craig plays with Tayanta and Yupanqui while Rosa crotchets hats|
|Sisa with Chipi the kitten|
|Yupanqui, Sisa, and Steph|
Yupanqui is now 4, and he is a little chatterbox. He is an active and sweet little boy. He has a good attention span for doing activities. He does not especially like preschool, but he is learning in spite of himself.
Perhaps the greatest transformation we saw after 6 months away was in the youngest, 2 1/2 year old Tayanta. She prefers to be called "Mi Nena" ("My Baby", a nickname coined by Yupanqui when she was just an infant). She was completely blind from birth to 6 months, at which time she had her first surgery which restored her sight. Since then she has had a second surgery, and has a pair of thick glasses which, as a two year old, she seldom tolerates. But despite still being nearsighted, she obviously sees well enough to get around. She is at the age when babies sometimes have stranger anxiety. But not so with her. She literally welcomed us with open arms, giving hugs and kisses and sitting on our laps as often as our godchildren Sisa and Yupanqui. She talks often and sings happily. What a little miracle she is!
|Rosa prepares to dispatch the rooster|
We had purchased some baby chicks for the family back in May. They have since grown into 5 chickens and two roosters. Rosa dispatched of the two roosters during our stay. It is difficult to see an animal killed, but as meat-eaters we feel that it is our moral responsibilty to come to terms with it. We must acknowledge that an animal gives its life for our sustenance, and we are very grateful. The roosters provided some deliciously fresh chicken soup, as well as legs, thighs, breasts, and feet (which Tayanta especially enjoyed). Nothing was wasted, as entrails were fed to the kitten.
|The view behind the homestead|
|Tayanta, Steph, Sisa, and Yupanqui walking to church|
|Tayanta and Aida walking to chirch|
|Abuelita tending the fire|
|Antonio practices the sax|
|Vaquita, the 4-month-old baby cow|
|Yupanqui and Sisa|
|Steph and Tayanta selfie|
|Craig plays with Sisa and Yupanqui|
When Yupaqui was having stomach troubles, they prepared a medicinal tea for him and Antonio gently rubbed a smooth volcanic stone over his stomach to take away the bad energy.
|Saying goodbye to Rosa, Sisa, Abuelita, and Yupanqui|
|Saying goodbye to Tayanta, Aida, and Antonio at the airport|