More photos from Cusco in the lead up to Christmas ...
Santa in his sleigh, pulled by his trusty reindeer, all lit up above one of Cusco's excellent juice shops.
Two of the cute kids at Picaflor House, one of the projects I manage, with the reindeer decorations they made for our Christmas tree.
On 20 December, the kids at our Picaflor House project were making Christmas stockings ... and, as you can maybe see, when I asked for a group photo I got mobbed! They love arts and crafts, and are always so keen to show off their work.
For the past week, one of the plazas here has been filled with small stalls selling every possible thing you might want for Christmas, including the ingredients to make your very own nativity scene. Here's a small selection of the animals available. I love how they all seem to be smiling!
A beautiful Christmas bell on a tree in one of the small plazas here.
Today was the annual Christmas Eve fair in the Plaza de Armas, here in Cusco so Sarah, our new volunteer coordinator and a fellow photography enthusiast, and I spent several hours checking out all the stalls and taking lots of photos. It was incredibly busy, there were many weird and wonderful things for sale, and we had great fun exploring.
It's Christmas Day here in Cusco and the jolly red-suited fat man visited overnight. Hopefully, he wasn't harmed by the enormous numbers of fireworks that were let off by every household, starting at about 9pm and culminating in a deafening crescendo of blasts at midnight! A strange way to celebrate an essentially religious occasion.
After midnight everyone opens their presents so, now, at 9am, it's very quiet as everyone sleeps off their excitement. Later, families will get together for a big meal, of turkey if they can afford it. And I'll be doing that later too, with the expat waifs and strays here in Cusco.
Merry Christmas from Cusco everyone!