Funny story: our friend nicknamed Travis “Patch,” short for Patchikutek, an Inca King famous around Cusco for his power…in fact, there’s a statue of him near our house. He got that nickname because 1 night, a while ago, when we had a few beers and somehow it came up that Travis has 3 nipples. Yes, I’m serious. It even has its own little tuft of hair and shrivels up when he’s cold! Naturally, everyone was FASCINATED by this fact and told us the significance of his 3rd nipple…according to Quechua legend, it means that Travis was actually a twin in utero, but he was SO strong that he battled and killed off his twin and usurped the twin’s power and spirit. The only proof of this duel is Travis’s 3rd nipple, which formerly belonged to his roommate in utero. This is why Travis is a natural leader, and very strong, according to our Quechua friends! So powerful Travis was nicknamed after the powerful Inca king, Patch for short. Interesting, huh? That Travis has an extramammary part AND the explanation we were given for it in Peru.
Tonight, Klever & his girlfriend, and Holger and his girlfriend, and possibly some of Klever’s roommates are coming over our house for dinner and some Cusquenas. Tomorrow we’re heading out to the community, Cacchicatta with our friend Pepe and his son, Jaoquin (coolest name ever!), to see friends, help build a meeting house for the Youth Association for the Development of Cacchicatta, hike, and camp. Cacchicatta is a Quechua community in the Andes of ~280 people whose land still has Inca ruins, temples, and tombs on it. The sad part is, it is currently unprotected land and raiders frequent the area to rob what’s left of the Inca ruins. A few years ago, we were hiking with a friend who lives there and he showed us, only us, an Inca tomb he had discovered. There were several skeletons, totally intact because they had been untouched by air until he rolled away the boulder and found them, with strands of cloth still attached to their bones.
A few weeks later, we were informed that the tomb had been raided and was now totally empty. Things like this happen all the time in Cacchicatta, which is why the community currently has a proposal into the World Bank (God forbid it does something humanitarian every once in awhile) for a grant and will then petition the government to grant their land “communal reserve” status. It would make it so that every visitor on Cacchicatta land would be regulated and required to pay a small fee to the community, which would help them preserve the Inca ruins.
We also have a goddaughter who lives in Cacchicatta - Klever’s niece - so we’ll get to see her too. She’s 4 years old now, and I’m sure Jackson will be smitten with her (he is with every kid that age). Oh, and Klever was just recently elected president of Cacchicatta! He’s only 25 years old, and the most driven, intelligent, entrepreneurial, giving person in the world! He was the first to go to college from Cacchicatta and is really an impressive guy. He has already done so much for his community and has so many more huge dreams and plans to improve the quality of life in Cacchicatta. We’re lucky to have him as a friend.
I also want to say congratulations to my first sister-in-law, Jennie, and her husband Eric. They recently delivered a beautiful, healthy baby boy named Barrett. I call her my first sister-in-law because, although she is no longer married to my husband’s brother, she was my first sister-in-law, and I refuse to call her my ex anything. It’s sort of like the first mom concept- just because she’s not functionally or legally a child’s mother anymore, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist or that she didn’t first hold that title. Divorce is a terrible thing, and it’s so hard for me to understand why when 1 family member divorces someone, the entire family is expected to do the same. That’s for a different post though. My point here is, I am so happy for Jennie and her family. Jennie is one of the strongest, most sensitive, compassionate people I know, and she and Eric are going to make incredible parents together. Congrats guys, and I love ya Jennie!
Here are some more pics of Cusco (Cuzco to Peruvians):