Thursday, March 22, 2018

Harvest and School and Life

Harvest has begun on Taquile
We approach the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and crops are beginning to mature.The major crops on Taquile are Potatoes, Quinoa, Oca, and Corn. Oca is a tuber in the oxalis family with pretty yellow flowers. Quite sweet if placed in the sun for an couple of hours before cooking.

Here we see the beautiful quinoa, tall stalks. Many people are now putting plastic or scarecrows around their quinoa to save it from the birds.
In the foreground is oca in bloom with yellow flowers.
Gonzalo and Pelajia have begun harvesting their quinoa. Here it is drying in the sun just after harvest:
The potato fields are all in bloom. We have been enjoying new potatoes since Carnaval. Up to now, most have been from "volunteer" potatoes among other crops, but some further harvest is beginning. We have some problems with a "guzano," a grub sort of worm in the potatoes, so sometime I hear the joke that our harvest is in competition with the guzanos. Most have looked very healthy this year so far.
A few fields were planted very late, these potatoes may be quite small and will probably be used to make chuño, or freeze dried potatoes. Sam and I helped Celbia cultivate this small field of late planted potatoes:
School Starts
Just as autumn signals harvest, it also brings the first day of school. This is a day of pomp, with gifts of pens for the students, speeches from teachers and the mayor, and the school student body president. And, naturally, confetti.

The grade school children get gifts of pencils, balloons and lolipops.
Fun and Play
We celebrated Eufrasia's birthday with pineapple and mangos in the afternoon, and then Sam and I cooked supper. Coconut cream in Asian style vegetables with quinoa on the side instead of rice. And no, I didn't take of picture of the meal. Darn!
Of course, playing with children is the most fun. Lisbet can be quite organized with flower blossoms:
Here she poses for us before a large cantuta bush (almost a tree) in full bloom:
Community Radio
I am a volunteer for KVNF, Mountain Grown Community Radio in Paonia, Colorado, so naturally, I am interested in this little community radio station on Taquile. Besides, I had a couple of announcements to place on the radio and a visit to the station was the best way.
This DJ uses his video pad and a cell phone to play the music. The other DJ I visited runs the music from his two phones. Checks the levels with a radio in the window. It works!

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