What a few couple have days we have had with lots of traveling and great interactions with the Peruvian culture and people! We apologize for not getting a blog out sooner but it has been difficult given our busy schedule and lack of wifi.
Our time in Cusco
On Sunday we traveled around Cusco, the center of Inca culture, doing different things. To begin the day we went to a local ceramics shop where we painted clay coasters and learned how to create small bowls with the locals. All the pottery there is made by hand from organic materials from the land around Urubamba. Overall, it was a really neat experience! Next, we went to a local place where chocolate is made. They showed us the process of making the chocolate, from picking it to eating it. Afterward, we all got to try a little bit of chocolate that was made in front of us. Definitely the most delicious part of the day. We then traveled to a small town near Cusco that is known for preserving the Inca culture. We visited a house of only women that made sweaters, scarfs, and other goods from alpaca fleece. They showed us the process of cleaning, threading, and weaving the fleece. To make one sweater it takes them about 30 days! It was a really cool process to see and learn about! The last place we went was Saksaywaman. These ruins were made by the Incas and overlooked the beautiful city of Cusco. In the rain, we toured around the ruins learning about their history and significance to the city. There were tons of beautiful views of Cusco throughout the park.
Arriving in Trujillo!
The next day, we left at 5:00 am to begin our journey to Trujillo. We first took a short flight to Lima where we got on a bus that took us to Trujillo. After 10 hours on the bus, we finally arrived at Trujillo where our families were waiting for us. Although we were all exhausted, we were really excited (and nervous) to meet our host families.
Our First Days in Trujillo
It is now our second full day in Trujillo and we are having a great time so far. Everyone is enjoying their host family and the added challenge of communicating with them. Every morning we will shadow an intern at the local hospital. Later on in the day, we will have Spanish class followed by a discussion about various things (Peruvian dance, politics, medicine). Although there have been small hiccups here and there we have been loving our time in Trujillo so far. We hope to post another blog soon updating you with our lives and what we are learning!
Talk to you soon,
Will Simonson and Kjerstin Nelson