One of the greatest moments I had the first part of this year was in January, in Moquegua, Perú. I travelled there together with a friend called Matt. He is an Aymarist (specialist in the Aymara Language). We went together to a village called Muylaque, deep in the ANDES, to find some traces of the Pukina language and of course to learn Aymara from the local people.
The first impression we had was of not knowing where we were. The people were looking at us as creatures from outter space. Some of them say hello, others didn't even say nothing. It was quite strange at the beginning.
We thought the best way to get into the social life of the village, their confidence, was saying "hello" in Aymara. The word "maraptis" is an old way of saying "hello" in that region. Only old people say "maraptis", young people find odd and poor to speak in Aymara, they prefer to speak in spanish, but we start trying to say "MARAPTIS!".
At the beginning people stayed still when they hear us say: "Maraptis mamita!". It was unpredictable for them to hear us talking in Aymara because for them we were the gringos in the village, the ones that spoke english not Aymara !
After some days the imago changed. We said everytime: "Maraptis" and they began laughing at us, and said: "SIMPIKAY !".
Everytime we said : "Maraptis", they answered us: "Simpikay".
After a week we were invited to eat cuy (guineapig), also to speak with them aymara. Everyone began to say "maraptis" in the village, replacing "hello" in Spanish. We got into their social life and learned aymara words.
After some days of eating the guineapig I had to go back to my city, left Matt in muylaque speaking Aymara with all the women from the village (see in photo). It was a very good time for me and him. It was very nice to speak in the native language, and to learn the way they say "maraptis" from their heart.