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15 September 2013 / leggypeggy

Sexy Woman gets tender loving care

Saqsaywaman

Paul surveys Saqsaywaman in the hopes of finding and solving drainage problems

Yesterday I wrote about our visit to Saqsaywaman (pronounced Sexy Woman), the massive Inca ruins just outside Cusco in Peru.

What I didn’t mention was some of the TLC the Sexy Woman is getting. You see, the old girl is suffering and a group of civil engineering students and their professor from the University of Virginia are trying to help her out.

Saqsaywaman

Hiking up stairs to see the view Paul was seeing

I found out about these efforts when I noticed a young man taking survey readings at the site. I know my theodolites, but Paul was surprised when I asked ‘what are you surveying?’ He said people usually don’t recognise the equipment and want to know what he’s ‘photographing’.

When we were there, Paul’s group was in their last day or two of several weeks of taking about 3000 readings that will help them to create a 3D model of Saqsaywaman.

The model will be used to help them figure out why and where the ancient drainage systems at Saqsaywaman aren’t working well anymore. Then they’ll try to come up with solutions that help this magnificent set of ruins to carry on in the future.

Paul, who is one of four students on the project, said the experience has been a wonderful opportunity for him and his fellow students, and a bit of extra work for him. His mum is from Colombia and he’s fluent in Spanish, so he’s had the task of translating for the rest of the group.

I quizzed Paul for about 15 minutes and thanked him many times over for allowing me to interrupt his work, which I don’t suppose I interrupted too much because he was able to keep on taking readings. He, in turn, very graciously thanked me for providing a diversion in his day. Nice guy.

Paul, if you see this, I remember that you were on the verge of starting a university exchange in Ecuador. We wish you well!

Saqsaywaman

Looking over Paul’s shoulder from afar

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