I was woken by someone yelling my name far too close to dawn for my liking. The first of the Selvamonies had arrived. They started pitching up, and then another girl arrived, and then a group of three, carrying their tents and sleeping bags sluggishly across the field, looking for somewhere good to make camp. My silent, empty campsite was being transformed.
The same was happening to the festival. After days of not very much happening at all, now tarps, stalls, and stages were springing up all over the place. I guess they suddenly realized how close to the festival we were.
They’ve not yet taken down the barbed wire that’s running through the middle of the campsite, so I still have to feel my way very carefully throug the darkness each night.
It’s been a busy week. I’ve been spending my days running around with a camera and an inquisative expression, asking hundreds of questions of anyone who looks my way, and my nights catching up with the regular Peru this Week workload and typing up interviews and adventures. This has all been made a fair bit more complicated by the fact that my trusty laptop has chosen this week to suddenly stop being trusty, and also by the fact that the internet connection over here is pretty awful.
I go to the locutorio each evening, plug my laptop into their internet and use one of their computers. My laptop can only access some websites and their computers can only access some websites, so I have to email things back and forth to myself, and enlist the help of my stalwart colleagues (who are a lot more trusty than my laptop, thank goodness!), Rachel Chase and Natasha Clay. They’ve been doing everything that neither my laptop or the locutorio computer will let me do. Which is good, otherwise Houston, we would have a problem.
I’ve still found time to visit the incredible Wharapo, though. I don’t want to tell you too much about that, as it’s featured in our very special edition (coming this coming Wednesday, July 2!), but it’s probably obvious that an artisanal distillery in the middle of the countryside that produces 21% proof aguardiente is a pretty special experience!
While I very much enjoy the opportunity to chat on about how I’m finding this festival, this space is not just for me. ‘My Selvámonos’ is a chance for all the Selvamonies (this year or previous years) to share their festival experiences. *Tell us your Selvámonos story!* A festival always gives birth to new friendships, unique experiences… and thousands of stories. Share yours with us. Send in your stories, short or long, and photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can write to us in Spanish – we have skilled translators poised and ready! We’re waiting to hear from you!My continued adventures during Selvámonos culture week Send us your festival stories at email@example.com!