Saturday, November 14, 2015

Initial Thoughts

Molly Miller - First of all I want to say Happy Birthday Paige. The travel was so much fun and really a great time to make memories. I didn’t sleep on the plane at all but a lot of people did. We went from DIA to Atlanta which was short and slightly awkward considering that not many people from this group have ever traveled with each other. I wasn’t too familiar with my classmates until we started traveling. We all became friends very quickly after traveling together. It’s only our third day together and I have so many memories of crazy and hilarious adventures that we have had (nothing to crazy, I promise). The Atlanta layover was short and before we knew it, we were on the plane to Lima. It was a nice, big plane and everyone was very happy to finally be on our way to Peru. I had a great time talking with Lauren and Paulina, both of whom are my new good friends. I also went and talked to other Peru travelers and learned about them and what movies they were watching. We all watched a ton of movies and I can say that everyone was entertained almost the whole seven hour flight. We went through customs, I got into the wrong line but it was okay, and then loaded a bus to our hotel/hostal. It was interesting to see Peru for the first time. I was very aware of all the things we were passing by and seeing but it was a lot different from our culture. Paulina said it looked a lot like Mexico. We finally got to the hotel around 3am peru time and everyone was very tired. We got up in the morning eat our first real meal in Peru before we headed back to the airport for our flight to Cusco, which we were able to catch an earlier one, thankfully. We collected our bags and found Adela and Johan which was a relief after traveling for two days. The group bused to Ollantaytambo and had a meal at a restaurant and caught up with each other. Mom and Dad, I am alive and having a blast and learning a ton of Spanish. I love you little brother, I hope you are having an educational (and fun) experience at the Alamo and I love the rest of my family and friends who took time to read my really long blog post. Good night  everyone! 
Ashley Fisher - When we were meeting our homestay families I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. When the family mom came for us she was very nice but she didn’t know English at all. I had Paulina and Hayden in my group and it was good because Paulina is fluent in Spanish so she was able to translate everything they were saying. Their home is a bakery, which means they make good meals. We ate with their 17 year old daughter and her boyfriend while their mom served us and we had noodles with vegetables on it, which was very good. They have a dog that is pregnant and when we walked around their house I saw the guinea pigs that we are going to eat at the end of the trip. After lunch they showed us around the town and we hiked three miles to the ruins. Following the hike we walked to a corn field which was really cool. I felt sad walking through the town because we passed at least 20 stray dogs, some of whom were limping. For dinner we had cheeseburgers with french fries inside of them which was really good, then we walked around the Plaza in the shops. After that we walked back to the hotel which was only a block and met up with the rest of our group to talk about our fears and hopes for this trip. Molly and I were the leaders for the day so we also got to read a poem to the group by Dr. Suess. Meeting our homestay families was very nice and our day was a lot of fun. I am so blessed to be in this beautiful country and I am excited to finish out the rest of this awesome trip!

Andersen Dodge - Today we went to the local Quechua shaman. His house is just outside of town, built of a stone wall, straw roof, and wood flooring. It was amazing to see what his rituals are and how he performs them. We picked four, perfect coca leaves to give to the shaman so he could say a blessing for us. In addition to saying a blessing he told us about our future and what we needed to learn. He told me that my friends will be those who encourage me to make good choices. He also told me that I would become a good doctor, which was good to hear because I want to be a surgeon when I grow up! Today was amazing and I think it was life-changing. 

Jacobo Arango - Hello! And hello mother, and fathers. Today we awoke to a beautiful, sunny morning. We ate breakfast, which consisted of bread, butter (the best part), and lots of fruit. I enjoyed some coffee, which prepared me for the long day ahead. We engaged in activities that WLS gave us, which were the following: writing down our goals and fears for the trip, a teambuilding activity with jump ropes, and a name-game activity. It only took us about fifty tries to all get past the jump rope together. Then we had down-time, where we played “Sapo” (frog in Spanish), soccer, and poison. Poison is a hacky-sack game where you try to get the other people out by hitting them after you catch the ball. Our families arrived at 12:30, and we headed off on a cultural “adventure” where we tried to assimilate with our families.


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