After lunch, the the Leaders of the Day (the people who are writing this blog entry) went around and asked everyone or a small donation to the orphanage that we were visiting later on. This money was used to buy toiletries for the boys in the orphanage. We had a really great time interacting with the children. Memories were made 🙂
This morning started out like your typical day. We woke up at 6 and had breakfast, then we went to service. During service we worked on building the walls of the greenhouse, digging dirt for mud, cutting hay, and a new job which was preparing walls for painting murals. Andy, had the idea of using his hi-tech camera to take pictures of the kids to create a yearbook for the school. We also had a chance to play with the kids at the school and learn about a new teacher. We came home to a delicious lunch and set out to finally get wifi and to spend time in the plaza. At the plaza we were able to exchange money, contact family and friends, and shop around. After we gathered together, we walked forty minutes back to base and ate another great meal. Then we had a talk about what was necessary for our trip to Machu Picchu which is coming up on Monday. After the meeting we were able to have our clothes washed for laundry day. We then hung out until lights out at 10:00.
– Khalil Brooks, Lena Wencker, Gillian, and Regina Olivares
Today we woke up later than usual at about 7 am. Although we got to sleep an extra hour, we had less time to work on the greenhouse. The greenhouse is coming along very well and it is a possibility that we could finish it by the end of our trip. Today we also started work on a trench that will carry a water pipe directly to the greenhouse. After lunch we headed to a llama farm where we learned the differences between llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. We got to feed them, pet them and obviously take selfies with them. After dinner we talked about our trek which we will be embarking on as well as the essential things we will need. We ended our day by watching Emperor’s New Groove which not so accurately represented Incan rule.
To start off the day we woke up later than usual at 7AM as opposed to the usual 6AM. We had the regular breakfast of 2 eggs with the beverage choices of orange juice, water, or pineapple juice. After that we went to an open air market called Pisac. There we bought various items including, sweaters, scarfs, necklaces, tapestries, soaked in the local culture, and even tried their had at haggling with the vendors. Max impressed everyone with his freestyle rap skill by dropping so called “fire bars”. Everyone then faced the daunting task of balancing essentials for the hike while still keep everything as light as possible. A few last minute purchases were made to ensure warmth and overall happiness during the trek to Machu Picchu. After dinner, the group viewed a local dance troupe and a few students even got to go up on stage and partake in the ritual dances. Everyone said there goodbyes to the 2 Weekers who will have left by the time the groups returns to base camp from Machu Picchu. Everyone is looking forward to the trek and the opportunity to get closer in touch with nature while camping in the great outdoors.
-Andy, David, Shelby, and Brenden
We woke up in Cusco at the hotel early in the morning. Then we left and drove for 4 hours, on the way we stopped at a small town to buy snacks. After the 4 hour drive we arrived at the beginning of the trail where we stopped to eat lunch. After a quick break and lunch, we began our trip to Machu Picchu with our first leg of the hike being 4 miles. When we arrived at the first camp site after our 4 mile uphill trek we all had tea and ate dinner while we tried to warm up. We tried to sleep but it was difficult for most because of the cold weather. Most found themselves sleeping like a baby, waking up every hour crying because of the cold.We woke up at seven, ate breakfast, packed our stuff and left for our hike. That day was mainly uphill and it was 8 miles. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed beautiful scenery despite our exhaustion.
We finally made it to the camp, where most people had pooping troubles. A group gathered to practice constipation exercises and luckily all were successful. After tea and dinner, everyone was able to fall asleep. We woke up at six, to tea and breakfast and began the last part of our hike. We hiked two miles down hill, then stopped for lunch in a local village, where buses picked us up. It was an amazing bus ride through the jungle for two hours. We were dropped off at a train station, where we walked another 2 1/2 hours along the train tracks. We arrived at our hotel for the night where everyone was excited to shower after two nights of hiking. We went out to a fun and delicious dinner and went to bed early.
In the morning, part of our group left at six to hike the stairs up to Machu Picchu and the rest met them at the entrance. We were able to take a three hour tour of the ruins and explore. Everyone was exhausted by the time we left and went out to lunch. After lunch we walked around aguas callientes and shopped in the local market place. At 3 o’clock we took a two hour train ride, followed by a two hour bus ride. We arrived safely at home base and enjoyed hot showers and dinner.
-Regina, Chandler and David
To kick off Peruvian Independence day, we arose from our slumber at 7 AM. We had a typical breakfast of eggs, and it was off to the service site to continue our speedy progress on the greenhouse. The house is looking larger than ever, and everyone is doing their best to achieve our final goal. The sun beat down as we worked all morning, and spent a greater amount of time with the kids due to their upcoming winter vacation. It was hard for some to say goodbye, as we shared lots of constructional experiences with our little amigos. After a productive day of work, we returned to the hotel to a lunch of yummy meatballs and rice. After some much deserved rest, we embarked on a bus ride to the top of a nearby mountain to get a full experience of Peruvian music from a local musician who shared with us his many different instruments. We learned to play various wind and percussion instruments and had a wholesome experience. We came back to San Borja Hotel to a dinner of stuffed chicken and rice. We then took a trip to a local food market, where we stocked up on snacks for our rooms. Time here in Peru is running short, and we are excited for the upcoming adventures that await us in the next week!
-Laura, Max, Aiyana, and Shannon
Instead of usual service today, we went to Patabamba to help out 5 different families with their chores so they are prepared for going to the market the next day. What we did was hulling corns and washing the lettuce. We had quinoa soup with potatoes and cheese as lunch. It was really delicious! Afterwards, some of the students had an intense soccer game with the town kids. In the middle of the game, some kids brought a dead bird out of nowhere and kick it around the field. Then, one of them threw it to the audience and scared the heck of them. We came back had dinner with some beef and rice, and ended our day with a game of hide and seek.
-David, Annie, Khalil, and Rudy
We started the day off sleeping till 8! We then packed our bags for an adventurous day of white water rafting. We arrived at the raft launch and immediately began paddling through the beautiful mountains of Peru. It wasn’t long before friends started turning on each other, jumping onto their pirate ships and throwing their women, children, and food overboard. After numerous water fights in the freezing 10 degree Celsius water, we finished the the trip off with a nice warm lunch. Lunch was yummy chicken and potatoes.Then we started on our 3 hour drive back to there hotel. But then we stopped at Oyantatambo , a market place with beautiful Incan Ruins, and people shopped for bracelets and food. We continued on our long drive back to the hotel and ate a great dinner.