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Hola from Ollantaytambo!

Posted by on December 19, 2013

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world!”

~Nelson Mandela

Yesterday, we ALL went to PERU! Yup! You read that right … THAT’S the MAGIC of SKYPE! This was our FIRST “trip” to Peru this year and, boy, were WE excited!

Technology has helped us to FLATTEN the walls of our classroom, and brought the world to US! You see, Ashli is in Peru right now. She has been SO good about sharing her experiences with us and helping to answer our “I wonders” about this beautiful South American country.

We've widdled the THREE pages of questions we started the year off with down to one ... but give us time ... we KNOW we'll think of more!

We’ve whittled the THREE pages of questions we started the year off with down to one … but give us time … we KNOW we’ll think of more!

True to form, we had a TON of questions … and SO did the OTHER four classes that JOINED us! Ashli was in the small rural weaving village of Ollantaytambo,ย (pronounced O-yawn-teh-tom-bo), when she Skyped with us yesterday!

What follows are our reflections from this amazing Skype:

“Yesterday we Skyped with Ashli. She’s in Peru right now. No Ashli is in a town called Ollantaytambo. She gave us a little tour of the town. It’s mostly just mountains, mountains and more mountains. Ashli said it was very hot. Did you know that there are only two seasons in Peru? Wet season and dry season!” ~Alex

“That was awesome! We Skyped with Ashli AGAIN! Her internet got cut off and we were upside down on the web cam. Ashli went to get on a roof just to Skype with us. When she called us on the roof we were right side up. Yay, everyone said!!! At the end of the Skype she gave us a view of the town she was in. I hope we get to Skype with Ashli in Peru again!” ~Amy


Ollantaytambo is BEAUTIFUL! We can SEE why Ashli likes it SO much!
Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Angela Rutherford

“Ya! My class Skyped with Ashli! She told us about the town of Ollantaytambo. They speak Spanish and Quechua. On December 17, 2013, when Ashli was there, there were five earthquakes in one day. Most people spent their time outside because some roofs fell in. It was horrible! I can not wait until the next Skype!” ~Hilary

“On December 17th we Skyped with Ashli for the third time! She was in Ollantaytambo. After 14 minutes we lost connection. We tried everything until … she was on her roof! She figured out there was better internet on the roof there! And, before we hung up she showed us an amazing view! Some people said oooooo ahhhhhh when they saw the view!!! My favourite part was when she told us about five small earthquakes! Some people there thought their roof would fall down so … they slept outside! Some people weren’t scared. I had fun Skyping with Ashli in Ollantaytambo!” ~Isaac

“Woo hoo! We got to Skype with Ashli yesterday! She was in Ollantaytambo, (Oll-a-n-tan-bo), in Peru. I can’t believe that we got to Skype with someone on a different continent!!! That’s all blog readers! No! I forgot … there were five small earthquakes … some roofs fell in! Now that’s all, readers! Bye!” ~Kale


The streets in this rural village have AMAZING architecture! No WONDER Ashli loves it so much!
Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Benjamin Dumas

“Hello! Yesterday, my class had a Skype with Ashli. My favourite question was what do Peruvians do for Christmas? Well … they spend time with their family but they have no presents. It’s more a religious holiday. I loved the ruins on Pinkyluna, the mountain. They were so pretty! Our internet got cut off so Ashli ran to the top of a roof for a go at internet. I wish I could be there all day!” ~Ethan

“I wonder what Ollantaytambo looks like, I said to myself before we started our Skype. We all got settled on the carpet. Okay, everyone, Mrs. Renton said … and we started the SKYPE! The Skype was on but the screen was upside down and Ashli said it was okay that we were upside down. Half way through, the internet got cut off so Ashli ran up to a roof and the internet was back on! I could not believe that it was in real life that we were seeing the town of Ollantaytambo! The coolest thing was we saw hikers on a MOUNTAIN! I want to go and by stuff at the store!” ~Zyne

“The Grade Three classes got to Skype with Ashli! She was in Ollantaytambo. She showed her godson to us. He was playing cars. One person asked if they decorate at Christmas. Ashli said they do it more as a family, with friends, as a religious celebration. The internet got cut off! Also before the screen was doing funny things. She knew that the roof had good internet. She also told us that there were five mini earthquakes. I asked Zyne to ask my question. She said she works with six weaving villages. In one area the weaving is softer but in another area the weaving is more rough and thick. Skyping with Ashli was FUN! I wish I could go to Peru because of the Skype!” ~Daniel


Wow! I bet MOST of us would LOVE to be in Ollantaytambo WITH Ashli right now!
Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Benjamin Dumas

“Chhhhhkkkk! Oh NO! The internet connection got cut off! I hope we can still Skype, Jenna shouted! I didn’t know that. I thought they only spoke Spanish. Ashli told us Peruvians also speak Quechua in the Andes regions. But not all Peruvians speak Quechua. They do in Ollantaytambo! I hope we can Skype again!” ~Cohen

“Yesterday I was shocked about what interesting facts Ashli told us. It was cool when Ashli told us she was sitting on the roof top. And, it was scary that there were five earth quakes yesterday. Ashli told us that the people had to sleep outside because they were all scared that their houses were gonna fall. Several roofs even caved in. See you on our NEXT Skype!” ~Lane

“Oh oh! We were Skyping with Ashli! Guess what … while we were Skyping with Ashli the internet went out. Ashli had to run, with her laptop, to another house with more internet connection. She had to go on the roof. It was a rare day. It was the wet season, (summer), and it usually is raining during the wet season but it was sunny! That Skype with Ashli was awesome!” ~Noam


You can SEE why even MINI earthquakes can cause the roofs to fall in on these Peruvian homes in Ollantaytambo.
Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Benjamin Dumas

“Brriiinnnng. The Skype was opening. Yesterday we were Skyping with Ashli. She was in PERU! Her house was in the town of Ollantaytambo! Ollantay was a general. Tambo means place. My favourite part was when she showed us the view from the roof. I LOVED it! Christmas there is not like the Canadian Christmas. The Peruvian Christmas is more religious and about friends and family. The Skype was wonderful. I hope the Grade Threes have another Skype with Ashli after the winter break!” ~Martin

“Uh oh! Is this the end of our Skype? we were Skyping with Ashli … and then the internet connection broke! We waited for a few minutes. Soon we figured out that when the internet broke she put on sunscreen and went out and onto a roof because she knew it had good internet connection. That reminded her about how last year she tried to climb a mountain and show the last year’s Grade Threes the view, but the internet got cut off when she climbed a quarter of the mountain! When it was time to stop the Skype she showed us a view of Ollantaytambo. I hope to see it again!” ~Peng Peng


We wonder if THIS is the mountain that Ashli likes to climb to sit quietly and reflect!
Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Benjamin Dumas

“That’s amazing I thought to myself. Ashli had five earthquakes. The earthquakes blew some of the roofs in. The people were very scared. The houses weren’t very strong. On Christmas in Peru they light up lights in some towns. In Peru the lights sign different songs. Some people in Peru only wear their traditional clothes for celebrations!!! It was awesome Skyping with Ashli!!!” ~Aya

“Yesterday me and my class and four other classes Skyped with Ashli … but no Zoe. That’s sad. We started to Skype with Ashli but then there were some internet connection problems. So Ashli had to run up to the top of the house she was staying in in Peru. The houses in Peru are made of stone or adobe walls and tin roofs. When we Skyped with Ashli she said that the day before we Skyped with her there were five little teeny tiny earthquakes. Skyping with Ashli was fun. I hope I can Skype with Ashli and Zoe after winter break!” ~Claire

“We talked with Ashli in Peru. I asked Ashli if it was winter or summer.” ~Sam


There is SO much Incan history … you can almost FEEL it looking at these gorgeous pictures!
Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Benjamin Dumas

“As we were at school writing in our journals Mrs. Renton said today we were having a Skype with Ashli. Then it was the afternoon and then Mrs. Renton said to come to the carpet. Four classes joined us! Then suddenly Ashli lost her internet. But then we tried to video call her again. It worked. When we continued everyone noticed that Ashli was on a roof! We got to ask questions like how many seasons are there in Peru? Well, Ashli said, there are only two seasons. Before she had to leave, she gave us a tour! I will never forget what we did today!” ~Kelly

“That’s so cool I thought to myself. There is only two seasons in Peru. Dry season, winter, and wet season, summer. I wish I lived there. Those are my favourite seasons. Did you know that in Peru where Ashli was, in Ollantaytambo, tambo means place and ollantay was a general. You know what? I had the best time ever!” ~Kennedy

“Ollantaytambo! That’s the name of the town we Skyped with Ashli from. She told us that Ollantaytambo is the village she was staying in for a little bit. They celebrate Christmas. They have lights that sing all these different Christmas songs. That’s funny! Ashli said it was a bit strange, (because a bunch of different songs would be playing at the same time LR). I hope we get to have a Skype again!’ ~Jenna


We are SO lucky to have Ashli as our teacher on a COMPLETELY different continent! Maybe ONE day some of US will work alongside you!
Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Benjamin Dumas

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.”

~ย Walt Streightiff

We still have SO many questions!

8 Responses to Hola from Ollantaytambo!

  1. Joan Price

    I HAVE to comment on this Blog! This is my favourite place in Peru, well almost. The Incan fortress took my breath away when I first saw it! It is huge! It is the place that I wanted to go back to and spend more time there. My friend lives in a small community(which IS my favourite) near here. I have walked from Ollyantaytambo to his community called Cachicatta. My Grade Prep/1 Skyped with him on Tuesday. He was in Cusco. I think it is amazing that we both Skyped at about the same time…we have been trying to do it all year!!!

    • The Battalion Bloggers

      Hi Joan!

      Thank you for leaving a comment on our blog! We got SO interested in Cachicatta that we HAD to do a google search to see some images of it! We thought that Cachicatta looked a LOT like Q’enqo Peru! When we searched, we were VERY surprised to see some of our OWN pictures from our blog on the search for Cachicatta images! We saw a picture of a mask that one of our bloggers had made from a couple of years ago. Now we know that we are going to make ancient Peruvian masks with a VERY talented clay maker this year!

      We think it’s sort of sad that you haven’t been able to Skype very often with your friend! We have Skyped with Ashli three times so far. We’ve been lucky! Two of our Skypes with Ashli were from Victoria … British Columbia. Our LAST Skype was when she was in Ollantaytambo!

      What is your FAVOURITE thing about Cachicatta? What are the kids’ favourite sports in Cachicatta? What are the houses made from in Cachicatta? Do the kids in Cachicatta have to work hard to help their families with chores, like they do in Q’enqo, or do they have a lot of play time? Do the kids have to walk for hours to get to school … or is there a school there … and do their teachers show up?

      Thank you, Joan! We are VERY excited to hear back from you!

      The Battalion Bloggers ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Jodi


        I am a teacher from another CBE school and have found your blog. We too are studying this amazing topic and I love what you are doing. I have looked and looked at finding someone to Skype with in these 4 countries we study but have not heard from anyone. When thinking about where I wanted to take this topic this year, I wanted it to be more authentic to the kids. I was wondering if you would want to ask your Skype buddies if they would want to Skype with another school? Also, I think it would be awesome if our two classes could Skype as well and as having received some of this information, would want to teach my kids about what they are learning. Please let me know what you think?

        • Laurie Renton

          Hi Jodi.

          Thank you so much for leaving a comment and compliment! We’ve really enjoyed this journey. This is the fourth year with our connection, and our 3rd year blogging about it.

          We were fortunate to connect with Ashli as a way of answering our students’ questions … which eventually led to us helping them to build a library in Q’enqo, Peru. We’ve learned so much through this journey. So far, this year, our Skypes have been about helping our students to understand Peru through their questions … although we will also be moving into helping further with the library. Now that the library is complete, it will most likely be fund-raising, of some description, to help pay for a part-time librarian. We will see as the journey unfolds more.

          It is very hard to find anyone to connect with in any of these countries. Often, it’s about timezones. It’s awesome to invite parents or relatives in if they have had travel experiences in the countries we are exploring – we’ve done that and it has been pretty powerful as well.

          It would be interesting to Skype with your class. I am sure our students would all thoroughly enjoy that opportunity.

          Laurie ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. jeni

    hi ,class

    what an awesome post i LOVED it so much i read the whole classses!
    they where all great.

    i hope theres another post.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Jeni!

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment! We all worked so hard on this post. We’re glad that Ashli was able to Skype with us from Ollantaytambo. It is such a beautiful place – one that most of us had never heard of before. It made us wonder so many OTHER things as well … we may need to do some more research on the Incas and their history. They were SUCH amazing builders!

      Mrs. Renton ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Kale

    I like the info about Peru.My friends just got back from Machu Picchu!

    • Laurie Renton

      Hey, Kale!

      What a LOVELY surprise to see your comment tonight! I wonder what the COOLEST discovery your friends made while in Peru is? I wonder if they visited the floating islands on Lake Titicaca? I bet they have some AWESOME photos!

      Mrs. Renton ๐Ÿ™‚

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