Spending the day at Laguna Radian

 
Cristian blowing a conch during our promotional video shoot.

Cristian blowing a conch during our promotional video shoot.

 
 
The view of lake as we walked over the hill
was incredible - the water was like a mirror.
It reflected the rich blue skies and white clouds.

You can say that I’ve been offered and taken on some interesting opportunities during my time here in Peru. I met Cristian, a shaman from Wilcahuian last year through my landlord, Liliana. Since then, I’ve done a Coca Leaf and Wachuma ceremonies with him and he’s taught me to see and appreciate nature and flora with fresh eyes.

Cristian was going to Europe for a couple of weeks and needed promotional photos and videos. We settled on a Wachuma ceremony for my time - although I didn’t really have much  experience in videography,
I thought it would be a nice day out and I could learn a new skill.

On the first Saturday of May, I headed to Wilcahuian by collectivo with
my friend, Stephanie. She was a volunteer at Seeds of Hope in Huaraz and hadn’t been to Laguna Radian either. It turned out that we picked
the perfect weather for the hike because it was mostly blue skies
that day. The view of lake as we walked over the hill was incredible
- the water was like a mirror. It reflected the rich blue skies and white clouds.

 
 
He said it was essential to ask for permission
before entering the water - everything is energy
and we had to respect that.

We reached the lake before midday and the bright sunlight did limit our location choices around the lake. I had a rough idea of the kind of footage I needed, so we decided that it would be good to get going in case the weather turned. Cristian prepared his offering to Pachamama at lakeside before he entered the water. He said it was essential to ask for permission before entering the water - everything is energy and we had to respect that.

There was another big group at the lake and unfortunately they were so loud that I couldn’t use a lot of the audio from my footage. Luckily, I did have some usable audio as he played the conch.

 
 

The others followed us around the lake and watched as I filmed Cristian in the water. I really had to bite my tongue as I heard their cackling and loud conversations as I tried to shoot as much footage as I could. Once we had finished, they asked to pose for photos with Cristian and decided to leave us alone after that.

We had lunch lakeside and sat talking to a man who had a herd of 300 sheep in the next valley. After lunch, he said his farewells as he had to
get back to his sheep.

I forgot to mention that before we left Cristian’s house in Willcahuain, his mother let us borrow the traditional clothing most of the women wear in the countryside. Both Stephanie and I had a set to wear which included
a skirt, cardigan and hat. I thought we looked pretty good!

Before we left, each of us planted a seedling. Cristian said that by planting the seedling, a part of us would be in Peru long after we left. He also said that maybe in ten years time we could see visit our “tree” and see how much it had grown. It made me feel good to know I had a tree in Peru to remind of my time here.

 
 
 
 

 

fivefootronna is Ronna Grace Funtelar - a thirtyish storyteller, creative, writer and poet currently working and traveling in Peru. A woman with
a curious mind who lives for hiking mountains, outdoor adventures and eating pizza. She has a unique brand of optimism that is a combination
of her great enthusiasm for life and cups of coffee during the day.