Peru Entry #3

Pisac Travel Blog

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I´ve completed one week of volunteering in the mornings and the kids have been great. I´ve been taking a local bus to the Clinic in the morning and it only costs 60 centimos (20 cents)´s crazy cheap here. I spent one day at the clinic, 2 days in classrooms at the attached school and today I did therapy with some of the children. Unfortunately I didn´t go in yesterday because I have an inflammed throat and bad cough....didn´t want to get the kiddies sick too. The children are all so sweet. Most of the 40-45 kids live on-site at the clinic because their parents are too poor to care for them due to their disabilities (cerebral palsy, down syndrome, mental retardation, etc). The older ones attend school from 8:30-3:00 and the younger ones (2-4) stay at the clinic all day. Many of them are non-verbal, so I wish I had brought some communication systems with me from home (PECKS)....sorry the Special Education teacher in me coming out there. Anyway, it has been a really fun week at the clinic/school with the children. I´ll make sure and take lots of pictures of the students before I leave.

After volunteering from 8:30-12:30, I walk home for lunch. After sharing great food with my five female roommates, we head into Cusco for Spanish class from 2-4 or 4-6, to meet with our Tandem Peruvian speaking partners, or to check email at the volunteer office, Macimo Nivel.  We have dinner every night at 7:30 and the meals have been sooooo yummy! I have been spending most of my afternoons with Aneesha, a 24 year old girl who is about to start law school in Boston, and Grace, a 19 year old college student from Ohio. We share a beroom together and have also been sharing lots of other great memories together. For the past five days we´ve been hanging out with three amazingly fun boys: Martin from the UK, Chris from Australia, and Luke from Wales. We´ve shared many great meals together, played lots of card games at local bars, and danced the night away at clubs until the wee hours of the morning. They departed yesterday, so we were all a little bummed today, but our own adventures here in Cusco will continue on.....

Since I couldn´t go to Puno/Lake Titicaca last week and Aneesha & Grace were climbing Machu Picchu, I did a city tour of Cusco on Saturday and then a tour of the Sacred Valley on Sunday, accompanied by seven funny, energetic, friendly Chilean medical students. It was a great way to orient myself in Cusco because I got to see all the main sites within the city limits for the tour on Saturday....the Qoricancha Temple, the remains of a colossal structure called Sacsaywaman, a sanctuary of worship to fertility at Qenpo, an old military headquarters at Puca pucara, and the Tambomachay baths....mostly historical sites.   The tour of the Sacred Valley on Sunday was amazing as well. I saw several Inca ruins within 40-50 miles outside of Cusco....Pisaq (an old Incan city made up of stonemasonry buildings), Ollantaytambo (a fortress with temples and lots of hillside farming), and Chinchero (Inca structures and colonial buildings). I can´t even begin to imagine what Macchu Picchu will be like because these ruins were absolutely amazing.

I´m exstatic because Grace, Aneesha and I are going to Puno and Lake Titicaca this weekend. I´m excited to see the lake and stay with a family on one of the many islands. It will be our last adventure together as a threesome because Grace will be leaving for the jungle next week. Aneesha and I will also try to go south to Arequipa next weekend as well to see Colca Canyon, which is suppsosed to be similar to the Grand Canyon. We may even meet up with Chris (the Aussie) again while we are in Arequipa. It will just depend on whehter the strikers are blocking the roads next week. Well, that´s all for now. Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I travel throughout Peru. Have a great 4th of July weekend!!

Until next week.... 

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611 km (380 miles) traveled
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photo by: rsvpme