Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day 9

After a delicious breakfast of corn flakes, yogurt, granola, and sweet bread we departed for the Sacred Valley at 9am. We drove 30mins through Cusco until we reached a 50ft white statue of Christ which overlooked the city of Cusco. The view was breathtaking and we learned that Cusco is actually shaped like a puma. On our drive to the next stop we saw many different animals roaming the land such as llamas, alpacas, cows, horses, and donkeys. We also saw many small towns located throughout the Sacred Valley. Our next stop was at an animal sanctuary called Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary. There we got a tour by an animal expert who taught us about each of the species in the sanctuary. At the sanctuary we saw llamas, alpacas, parrots, mountain lions, condors, and guinea pigs. We also got to see how they make colored wool and textiles. Our next stop was at a local market where we stopped and shopped for about an hour and a half before climbing back on the bus. We then drove to a park within a small town in the Sacred Valley. We picnicked on delicious lunches packed for us by the kitchen staff at the school. After another long bus ride we reached our next destination which were salt wells on the side of a mountain. We learned that each family from a town owned a small well and salt water was carried into the wells by water ditches. The water then evaporated within 10 days leaving the salt behind which is then dug out by the families and then packaged and sold at local markets. After exploring the wells we boarded the bus for the final drive and drove about 2 hours back to Cusco and the school. After putting our things away we had an amazing dinner of broccoli tempura, meatballs, rice, and salad. We then took a break for an hour in our rooms and rested before playing a game of pictionary with the kids. It was a great day and tomorrow we get to paint the rooms that we reorganized yesterday!
We miss y'all!
- The Peru Crew

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 7/8

¡Bien Venidos a Cusco!
 Our flight was short but accommodating. Although the plane was small, there were many empty seats so we were able to lounge comfortably. When we landed, the first thing we all noticed were the sheer amount of orange and blue lights dotting the mountains that encased the airport. We had finally reached Cusco. After grabbing our luggage, we hopped onto our designated bus and drove to the school we would be living in. There, we were met with comfy beds and a delicious dinner of mashed potatoes and chicken fingers breaded with quinoa. We were introduced to our new Globeaware guide, Rocio, and she explained the work we would be doing at the school. Immediately after, we met our buddies and got to know them better. At nine, we went back to our rooms and slept in preparation for our work the next day. The next morning, we awoke to a hearty breakfast of corn flakes, strawberry yogurt with granola, and eggs. When we finished eating, we split into three groups: one for cleaning and painting the kitchen, another for creating and decorating a living room, and the last for clearing out the sewing room and dusting off the library books. Meanwhile, a couple of girls left to help their buddies with homework and a few others went into the city with Rocio to buy paint for the rooms. we settled down for a big lunch consisting of pumpkin soup, spinach tempura, and steak. Halfway through lunch, our other Globeaware guide arrived. His name is Fernando and he is a student here in Peru. After lunch we grabbed our money and took a bus to the biggest market in Cusco. There we shopped and bargained our way through the different stalls containing sweaters, socks, bags, keychains, headbands and many other items. Later, we went to a much quieter market and shopped some more. We went back to the school, had some wonderful fried rice for dinner, and rested for a bit up in our rooms. At eight that night, we brought out the gifts and toys we had packed for our buddies and spent time playing games, making bracelets, and chatting. After an hour, we all went back to our rooms to get ready for bed. Tomorrow we hit the roads and head for The Sacred Valley.

the Peru Crew

Day 6/ Day 7

After saying our goodbyes to our new friends in San Pedro de Casta, we boarded the bus along with about 10 other Peruvians who sat in the aisle. Our 2 hour ride down the mountain was nauseating  at every switch back. We finally arrived in Chosica and switched buses on our way to Lima. The dramatic change in architecture and size astounded us all, coming from a town with 1,100 people to the capital of Peru with a population of 9 million. We settled into The Flying Dog Hostel and fought over our 1st available warm water showers in a week. For dinner we walked to an Italian restaurant and devoured our pizza and pasta, thankful for something other than potatoes and rice. After dinner we enjoyed ice cream from a nearby shop and headed back to the hostel. We ate a tasteful breakfast with the choice of eggs and toast or a yogurt parfait with papaya juice at a nearby cafĂ©. We explored the city for several hours, viewing the ocean and playing on plastic playgrounds. After an early lunch at Subway we piled onto the bus to head toward the airport for our flight to Cuzco.

The Peru Crew