The day started by eating toast with jam at the dining room table. Then we set off to a llama farm where we learned about llamas and alpacas and got to feed the animals. We then set off on a hike where we started on top of the mountain and went down to a small town Pisac where we were able to exchange money and buy goods. After that we went back to our home base to eat a delicious lunch and relax before our dance class. Our dance class was a traditional saya dance that we all learned. After that we ate a fabulous dinner and had a motivational talk by jorge our mentor. the experiences today were really great!
Hola todos! Here is Brooke, Ellie, and Delaney writing to you about the past few days on our Spanish Service Adventure. On Monday, we began working at our service sites. At the first school, we are in the process of painting murals on the outside walls, building a new kitchen from the group up, and working with the kids at the school. In the second school, we have several ongoing projects, some of which include digging a trench to supply water for plumbing, painting rocks to organize the plants in the greenhouse, and plastering the walls with adobe we made ourselves! The service hours are very long and tiring, but seeing the progress makes it worth it. Every day we come home to a delicious Peruvian meal for lunch and then continue on to Spanish class. In Spanish classes everyone is encouraged to participate through oral discussions, fun activities, and interviews with the local Peruvians. Tonight, we had a cooking class where we made every course for dinner. The meal began with “causa rellena,” followed by “lomo saltado,” and finished with “pudin de pan.” We also had the chance to make “chicha morada” a tradition purple corn refreshment. Every course was taught in Spanish and was handmade by each student. Today included another special treat, as we were able to join in the pre-Independence Day party that paraded around the plaza, with everyone carrying torches and dressed in traditional ponchos and costumes. We are having such a great time in Peru and are learning so much every minute of each day.
July 27, 2017 written by our leader of the day – Maycee!
We started the day harvesting potatoes and painting murals for the schools. The potato harvest was challenging but rewarding. After service, we visited the plaza of Coya where a festival for Independence Day was being celebrated. Our Spanish class consisted of interactive learning with the children, as well as, traditional class. Overall, our day was an exciting and informative experience.
What a weekend! After the first full week of service, the students had three days of adventure and exploration. Here is an account of the weekend events, written by one our leaders of the day, Zoe.
On Friday we started off Peruvian independence day by biking 10 miles through the Andes Mountains and afterwards went to see the beautiful moray terraces created by the Incans. We spent the afternoon having a music class and learning to use the local instruments in Peru. That night we ended our celebration by lighting sparklers and having a disco dance party. On Saturday we ventured to Cusco city and enjoyed an informative walking tour. We ate out for lunch and had pollo a la brasa. Later we visited the Saucsayhuman ruins and had a mellow evening with an inspiring talk by Jorge. On Sunday our excursion was to Chinchero, where we had a weaving workshop, tried cuy (guinea pig). Lastly we got an opportunity to shop at barter in the market in Chinchero and met with our mentor groups. Overall this weekend has been very fulfilling and we look forward to continuing our service work and Spanish classes this week!
August 1, 2017
Today we were awoken to the sounds of fireworks and music at 3am. We soon found out it was due to the beginning of a new year in Coya. We started the morning with a 7:00am breakfast consisting of the usual toast. At 7:30 we headed to our designated service projects where we continued our work. After service we headed back to the home base for lunch and free time before Spanish class. At 4:30 we went out to the plaza and interviewed the Coya inhabitants on how they celebrate the new year. Afterwards we had noodle soup and soy chicken for dinner. Finally, we had mentor group. Another great day in Peru!
Friday August 4
Today we started our day with a delicious breakfast before hopping on our two small buses to head to Santa Teresa. On our way there we stopped to pick granadillas and take a break from the curvy roads at a small tea farm. From there drove along a road along the side of a mountain and on the edge of a cliff- not so much fun for those of us scared of heights. When we finally arrived at our hostel where we quickly changed into swim suits and headed to the hot springs. We all quickly became assimilated with the lower altitude and the mosquitoes that accompany it.
Saturday August 5
After breakfast at the hostel we drove the starting point of our hike. At the beginning there were quite a few steps but then it was flat- actually flat, not “Peruvian Flat.” We walked and walked and walked along until we got to our lunch place. Before lunch we took a quick, chilly dip in a natural waterfall near by. From lunch we walked to our hostel which was another hour away. In Machu Picchu Pueblo we all had a few hours of free time to enjoy the endless public wifi and the numerous shopping opportunities. And then… we had pizza for dinner which we had all been looking forward to. When dinner was over we all went back to our rooms to crash because we were getting up at four o’clock for Machu Picchu.
Sunday August 6
At 3:45 our alarm sounded to get up and be ready to roll to Machu Picchu nice and early. After enjoying the brisk air of the town while waiting for the bus up to Machu Picchu, we arrived at Machu Picchu with enough time to see the sun peak out from the mountains over the ruins. The view from where we were standing for the sunrise also made for great pictures- A LOT of pictures! From there we broke into two groups to go see the Incan Bridge and the Sungate Bridge. After our small hikes we went to tour Machu Picchu with our small groups and informative guides. The buffet, which has been hyped up by the mentors, was next. We spent the rest of our time before our train home eating, using wi-fi, and participating in a scavenger hunt.
Monday August 7
Our morning today started out much later than usual, as we were given much more time to sleep in and recover from last night’s journey. The fact that we were staying in Coya for service today also contributed to our relaxed morning, as we only had a few blocks to walk to begin our project. The first couple hours of our day were spent scraping layers of posters and paper off of the telephone poles throughout the town, as this is a task that only gets done a few times a year. Afterwards we returned to Pisac for an hour of free time before Spanish class, which took place around the town. Most spent their time shopping and taking advantage of our last chance to barter for reasonable prices at the market there. A quick 15 minute drive brought us back to home base in time for dinner, and mentor group which followed.