It is amazing, everyday, as I bus into school, to see the life bustling about on the streets of Cusco. 

Today was garbage day, and that was quite interesting.  They leave their bags of garbage on the sidewalks, along with misc refuse.  I even saw a dead guinea pig, which was quite unpleasant.  The dogs that roam around the streets sniff out the garbage, and are quite adept
at chewing threw the plastic to find the goodies inside.  After the dogs come the women, from poorer areas of town.  They dig through the garbage, looking for food and other things (including empty plastic
bottles), to take away in their bags.  It is amazing, the level of poverty, and so sad.

I continued on my way to the bus stop, and hurried aboard, stumbling my way to my seat, hoping not to put my manchila (backpack) in anyone's face.  This has happened before, and I've gotten a few dirty looks.  I stare at the window, as the bus makes its way down the
streets of the barrio (neighborhood).  There is a man I frequently see near the open market, who is in a wheelchair, and quietly holds a dish, in hope for spare change.  I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to be handicap here.  First off, just navigating through the streets and erroding sidewalks must be a daily challenge.  And in a place where unemployment is between 40-60%, being handicapped must making living impossible.  I don't see many handicapped people here, only him, and another guy on crutches who was missing a leg.  Do they stay inside?  Or just chose not to live such a challenging life?

I also see several men that sell their fruit, it is quite interesting.  They have a rig that is a cart powered by a bicycle, with a canvas roof, and they peddle through the streets, using a megaphone to shout out their wares.

The other night, on my way to my salsa dance class at school, there was even a man herding a donkey down the narrow avenue (pedestrians only) that my school is on, and this is downtown!  I quickly stepped to the side, as the donkey left several lovely mushy treats behind.

And, there are the women that set up their barbeques, and roast skewers that you can buy.  I do question what kind of meat it is.  And several vendors selling cigarettes, and candy, and gaseosas (sodas).

What a different world!


Leave a Reply.