Today is my second rest day, and I'm now taking Ciprofloxacin a strong antibotic that after two doses seems to be doing the trick. I feel well enough to work, yet, I stayed behind. We are heading to higher altitude tomorrow at the Yanamarey Glacier for an overnight and I think taking care of myself is the best preparation. The others are out installing water monitoring equipment and talking to nearby communities.
I am thinking of the stinging frothy red water we sampled from a llaves pile (mine tailings) before it entered the river. Most devastating, the barren dust-field stretched out in front of it was marked by children's footprints. A flock of uniformed kids dutifully bounced to school across this parched poisonous land. The source of a pervasive local cough is likely the pumping of this flour into the air. This day was a mix of emotions with the kids burned into my head sharply contrasting with images from the Andean headwaters we sampled earlier. Before the alpine glare of the afternoon, golden grasses spanned out across the broad flat valley towered by glistening rise of the ice covered Cordillera Blanca. I am humbled by both grandeur and devastation.