Today was a day for work. Everyone but Nush worked at the Kuska School, and Nush worked at Awamaki Cooperative. Kuska School asked us to build two shelves on both sides of the school and so we divided the work amongst the students. Today was great because we were able to get a lot done. The team was focused and kept to their assigned tasks. We were able to complete one tool shelf and will finish the other one when we return on Friday. Also, we had time to spend with the students at the Kuska School who were very welcoming and shared some snacks. After our time working at the NGOs, we met Pancho, a pro basket weaver, and his wife. They were very kind and patient and taught us how to weave baskets. None of us could imagine our final product and were so amazed when we were finished. It was impressive to see ourselves creating something like this. As the day started to wind down, we did an anchor session and it was excellence. Mr. Dunn danced. Period. Thank you and Nash still does not know Spanish.
~ Nash & William
Today was a day most of us in the group have been looking forward to since we came to Peru. We visited one of the 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. However, the journey up there also provided memorable stories. We first needed to take a train to a small town called Aguas Calientes, which translates to Hot Water or Hot Springs. We played games, and had fun conversations, which we labeled as “nonsense”, all throughout the train ride. From Aguas Calientes, we took a brief bus ride where we got a taste of the views to come at the top of Machu Picchu. Once we got off the bus, we met our tour guide, Eliud, who did a magnificent job and described the history of the Incas and Machu Picchu in great depth. However, words cannot do justice to the views we witnessed at the top of Machu Picchu. A picture is worth a thousand words. This familiar phrase perfectly embodies the photos we took up in the old Incan civilization. Although it is hard to believe, we did eventually leave Machu Picchu and move on to dinner, where we had a great buffet. Tomorrow we will move into working with our NGOs, the Kuska School and Awamaki. And although both NGOs are flourishing, we are hoping to give back to the community that has given us so much.
Today we visited one of our NGO options, which was Awamaki. Awamaki is an organizer of weaving cooperatives that helps give local women more financial independence. Today we also got to move in with our homestay family. We all bonded with our homestay families through an amazing lunch. After bonding with our homestay families we got the opportunity to participate in an ancient ritual that honored the creation of peace with mother earth. After the Despacho ceremony we hiked through the Inca ruins near our homestay community. We are going to have dinner with our homestay family and getting prepared for our amazing adventure of hiking Machu Picchu!
Coach Dunn no hablar Español!!
~ Scout, Kavita and Liz
We woke up this morning to the sound of rain and our first Peruvian breakfast. In our first session, we came to a consensus surrounding community and group guidelines for the rest of the trip:
1. Open yourself to new experiences
2. Be aware of attitude and treatment of self and surroundings
3. Be a sponge to let others grow with you
4. Focus on the present and be mindful
5. Have inclusive fun!
We then visited the Kuska School, an alternative school for Pre-K through fifth grade. The group was fascinated by the setting and methodology of Kuska. After eating a delicious lunch and trying “Inka Kola”, we hiked up to the Sun Temple on the outskirts of Ollantaytambo. Liz and I feel as though our group has already grown together and began to foster a sense of trust. We are looking forward to meeting our homestay families tomorrow, and we know that we have prepared ourselves to get the most out of this opportunity. We are all happy and healthy!
~ Alex & Liz