This past month has been full of lots of varying events. We have traveled to surrounding cities by Cusco, have experienced the nightlife, tried new and exciting foods, and learned very interesting things. I am starting to feel like I am getting used to the way Cusco operates. Everything takes about twice as long as it does in the States. Definitely learning how important patience is! I enjoy it though because not everything is in a rush it seems and you can enjoy the time spent. We have a lot of field trips in my classes here, about 1 a week, so a lot of learning is done outside the classroom. We have visited churches, lakes, gardens, museums, workshops, archaeological sites, and many more. My teachers love Cusco and really enjoy teaching us about their city, so I feel lucky to be learning from them! We have been doing a lot of exploring on our own, without the help from the university or my host family, and it has proved to be very interesting. I have found myself learning about the simplicity of nature and the importance of patience! Where I am has a lot of countryside filled with varying wildlife and animals. It’s been cool to drive through and walk around and up the Andes, which tower over you. My favorite trips have been the ones where we just explore around the mountains, cities, markets, or archaeological sites and take our time seeing what we want to see. It’s cool how different my surroundings are from where I’m used to. As far as patience, everything takes about twice as long here as is does in the States. At first, it was somewhat frustrating but now that I have gotten used to it, I somewhat appreciate it! Makes you value your time more it seems. As far as my best learning experience, it’s definitely the language! I have never taken Spanish before and trying to get by with knowing no Spanish was difficult. However, now after being here for 6 weeks, I have found that I have learned a lot! My host family doesn’t know any English, and pretty much neither do the people of Cusco. It’s rare if you find a native that speaks much English. A learning curve for sure. But, that provides for a lot of motivation to learn the language! I can carry on a simple conversation now and am able to bargain quite well! This has been an amazing trip already and it is for sure one of the best decisions I have made!
2nd: Parade in Puno, Peru for Carnival (personal trip)
3rd: women on a floating island on Lake Titicaca, Puno, Peru (personal trip)