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Latin America Kevin Dispatch

Powerful Learning Tools Discovered at the Ruins

map of the ruins in and around Cuzco

At one point the Inca Empire included about six million people. They did many amazing things, and one of the things they were especially good at was keeping track of the sun's movement. They even built huge temples to help them.

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Do you think I can make this corridor at the Temple of the Moon just a little wider?
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By riding a very fast horse, which I rented near Cuzco where I am staying these days, I got to see several of these temples all in one morning.

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Don't look at me - look closely at the beautiful stonework of Puca Pucara!
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At the first place, called Quenko, I was shown around by my very knowledgeable guide Alexander, who was only twelve years old! He explained everything to me in Spanish and fortunately he spoke clearly and slowly - one of the reasons I enjoy talking to kids! As we walked around the great rock structure, we slipped into a narrow, cold and barely lit tunnel. The tunnel led deep into the center of the temple, where we saw a great stone platform where they left food and water as offerings to the sun.

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Here I am striking a pose in front of Tambo Machay and its ceremonial bath.
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Little Helena is very proud of this photo with her new friend!
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As we then climbed up into the light, we saw many shapes carved into the rock; some of them looked like animals, such as the condor, llama, or the puma. At the very top, there are two round knobs sticking. On the same day every year, June 21, a shadow that looks like a puma's face appears!

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Taking a little rest on the Temple of the Moon
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At another of the temples a six year old girl was following me around. She was too shy to tell me her name at first but she seemed very interested in the fact that I was taking pictures. She wouldn't stop looking at me until I had a photo taken of the two of us. After that, she told me her name was Helena. She lives with her mother and her older brother just behind the ruin of Tambo Machay, and she comes to the site because it is as familiar and comfortable to her as her own home. No doubt her ancestors would have wanted it that way.

Kevin

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