Friday, February 09, 2007

Day 150: A Dance Competition in Mancos

Today, Benj and I invited the high school students in our summer school program to join us on a hike down off the mountain to cheer on the elementary students who were competing in a World Vision organized dance/theater/song/math competition as a part of their summer school curriculum. 11 students decided to join us at 6:30 am for our hour and a half hike from Musho to Mancos. We carried boiled ears of corn as a snack and wore blue bandannas with our names on them in support of Musho students.

Here we are with our high school cheering squad in the Mancos Plaza. If you look closely you will see mighty Huascaran rising up behind us. We arrived early enough to greet the rest of the Musho students who rode down in a combi provided by World Vision.

Our favorite cheer is: "Musho... Are you Ready?" And since this was our cheer throughout the summer school to get kids ready to sing the alphabet or play redlight-greenlight, the elementary students would peer excitedly up at us and scream out "YEEESSSS!"

These are three of Musho's star dancers! Musho won first place in the dance competition by dancing a dance native to Peru's high Andes called the Shaqshaa.

Musho's youngest students, the first and second graders, sang a song in Quechua about the importance of mothers and fathers for their piece.

After what turned out to be a pretty long day, Benj and I headed back up the mountain. It was our first time hiking back up the hill, as we usually choose to pay the 50 cents to ride in a collective taxi. But because we couldn't offer to pay for all of the high school students taxi fares, we made the hike. Ice cream cones in hand, 8 girls decided to join us (the rest backed out and paid their way up the hill or snuck onto the World Vision transportation).

In this picture, everyone decided to climb to the top of an enormous rock to gain a little more perspective and a view of the valley.