Yesterday was a very interesting day. We climbed a mountain, quite literally, to go visit a church. Upon arriving, we followed the congregation back DOWN the mountain for a beautiful baptism in the river. Immediately following, we climbed back UP the mountain for a celebration service. After the service, we went back DOWN that mountain and UP another mountain toward a cemetery. It was the strangest funeral I´ve ever been to– the person had been dead for a year. It was a type of anniversary service for what seemed like the whole town of Ticapampa. We gringas were hanging back, observing. We were pretty oblivious to the funeral customs of Peru. (On a side note, the cemetery was very strange. There were dogs roaming around everywhere, children sitting on fresh graves, and concession stands, where you could buy empanadas, yogurt, and of course, beer.) After about two hours of people singing and speaking, someone approached us and asked us to speak. At some strangers funeral. So I cleared my throat, introduced our group, and thanked everyone for their hospitality. It was all I could think to say in this very bizairre situation. Afterwards we were invited to the house of the family whose funeral it was, where a full feast was prepared and we were the guests of honor (and also probably the entertainment.) We were seated first, fed first, and everyone stared at us with open mouths to see if we liked the food. It was lamb, by the way.
We tried our best to smile, respect their customs, and pretend like we had a clue as to what was going on. I´m still lost.