|My hosts- Marsue, Susana & Ima|
|Andreas, Claudia, Luis Antonia|
When Judy and I returned from Chaparri, the banditos had struck again across the street and there was an armed guard at the corner (not unusual in the more affluent neighborhoods). Of the four homes struck, in broad day, one was ransacked. Needless to say, all were on pins and needles!
|Outdoor concert by students|
Next came Corpus Christi Mass and Processions. It was inspiring to see so many thousands praying. Students lined the walkways, wearing white gloves and holding candles or Star-War like wands that glowed.
|Corpus Christi Procession|
|Ima in her Spanish flaminco dress|
|30 flaminco dancers|
One Sunday after Mass, and a Chinese dinner (this family's favorite) we went to the beach at Colon, about and hour's drive west of Piura. Needless to say, whenever I hit the ocean I am home! It is winter now in Peru so not many people at the seaside- which was nice for us!
|Family at Colon|
|In the shade at Colon|
Another highlight of the trip was a visit to a ranch which raises the PERVUVIAN PASO HORSE. The hacienda, Los Ficus, is south of Lima in the Lurin Valley. To get to this marvelous place, one travels through slums, rural villages, cultivated fields, and small towns.
The Peruvian Paso is a breed of light pleasure saddle horse known for its smooth ride. It is distinguished by a natural, four-beat, lateral gait called the paso llano (a side walk). Instead of a trot, the Peruvian Paso performs an ambling four beat gait between the walk and the canter.
It is a lateral gait, in that it has four equal beats and is performed laterally- left hind, left fore, right hind, right fore. Intrstingly enough, when performing they most often us the music from the area of Piura, as the beat of that music perfectly fits the gait of this horse. This characteristic gait was utilized for the purpose of covering long distances over a short period of time without tiring the horse or rider. The gait is natural and does not require extensive training. Peruvian Paso foals can be seen gaiting alongside their dams within a few hours of their birth.
|A yearling on the lung line|
|We watched all stages of training|
Smooth-gaited horses, generally known as Palfreys, existed in the Middle Ages. Peruvian Pasos trace their ancestry to these ambling Jennets, which contributed strength and stamina and to the glorious Andalusians which added style, conformation and action. Horses arrived in South America during the Spanish Conquest, beginning with the arrival of Pizarro in 1531.
|Dancer & horse|
|Not sure who is more beautiful|