Many parents bemoan their teenagers’ moody personalities and ungrateful, complainer-puss attitudes. I am no different – I joined that club years ago, long before Chloe was even officially a teen (she’s always been precocious in that way). Chloe drives me batty sometimes. It’s the job of these half-children half-beasts, isn’t it, to drive their parents batty?
Last evening a “paco” (which means priest in the local dialect) performed a tribute to Pachamama, aka Mother Earth, in an old church located on the grounds of the hotel, which was once a convent. Using locally farmed ingredients such as coca leaves, quinoa and rice, as well as cookies and sprinkles – because, according to him, women like sweets and Mother Earth is a woman – he created a colorful sacrificial package for the Andean peoples’ revered goddess, which he then burned while performing a ritual chant. As an atheist, I generally have no use for such spiritual gobbledygook. However, when such a ceremony is performed in a setting as magnificent as this, it’s hard to resist the mystical incantations of a millenias-old civilization.