Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Everyone Heading To Their Own Home

Thank you for following the blog!
Hello Parents:
I just spoke with Martha Ashley in the Atlanta airport, who is with all the students and faculty and ready to come home soon. All the students are in great health, which was great to hear. She says that customs went very smoothly and that all the TSA folks were very kind to the students as they came through security. Thank you for supporting World Leadership School and we are honored to be able to work once again with the incredible students, teachers and leaders of St. Mary's Academy.
Ross Wehner
World Leadership School
Hello family and friends of the SMA Peru program!

The group has arrived in Atlanta and it looks like they are scheduled for an early arrival in Denver.
Please feel free to call us with any questions or concerns (303) 679-3412.

Delta Air Lines Flight 1916
On-time - departs in 2 hours 30 mins
Departs Atlanta,
  1. Wednesday, November 25

    11:06 AM

  1. Arrives Denver,
    Wednesday, November 25
Scheduled 12:31 PM
Updated Arrival:11:52 AM

Thank you for your support!
Program Coordinator
World Leadership School

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Saying farewell to Ollanta.

We are having a slow-paced day

After a late breakfast, we are packing and playing. Lunch will be in Urabamba in an outdoor cafe. We will then travel to Cusco and walk about before going to the airport. Thank you for following our blog and for your prayers and blessings. 

Relaxing or playing

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sorry, no bloggers tonight

We had our candle circle ceremony tonight and typically go to bed right after. Hence, no bloggers tonight. I hope you enjoyed them.

We had a great end to the community project and a delightful panchamanca. Tomorrow we start our journey home tomorrow.

Just in case you need a reminder, here is our flig schedule.

Cusco to Lima
LA 2068 @ 7:45 pm

Lima to Atlanta
DL 0150 @ 1:55 am (November 25th)

Atlanta to Denver
DL 1916 @ 11:05 am

We arrive at DIA at 12:31pm on Wednesday, November 25th

Monday, November 23rd

- Community Project Day V
- Pachamanca "earth oven" celebration with host families
- Dinner with host families
- Candle Circle

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Machu Picchu

Rhea Rowan
Hello Mughu, Dad, Mom and Khaili,

I miss you all and am so excited to see you when I come home.

Today we went Machu Picchu, it was fantastic, truly a once in a lifetime experience, We learned about the history and spirituality of Machu Picchu. 

I hope everyone is okay and I miss you all.
Rhea Rowan❣

Anna Grace Fusaris
Hi family and friends!  Today we went to Machu Picchu.  This was the best day of the whole trip for me.  It was perfect because we read our speeches in the background of the main mountain of Machu Picchu.  The tour was amazing too.  Our tour guide explained where the girls stayed and where the boys stayed and what they did for work.  It was awesome!  The only downside was the train ride and bus ride.  The bus ride was one hour and forty minutes.  The bus ride was forty minutes but for some reason it felt shorter than it actually was.  Well on the train ride they served food and Ginger Ale so I am cool with that.  This was truly a once in a lifetime experience.  And it will be the one trip I will remember when I become wiser and older.  Nothing could ever change my way of thinking about how amazing this trip has been.  I miss you family and I will see you soon!

Kevin Reyes
Our trip to Machu Picchu today was truly a great experience. Just knowing that you'll visit a place that some wait their entire lives to visit makes it all the more spectacular to see. The tour of it was amazing and I really enjoyed seeing how perfectly some of the stones fit together and what the Incan/Andean cross was a symbol for. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about Machu Picchu and taught us lots of interesting things. There were some alpacas in a random courtyard in the urban area of Machu Picchu and they were fun to see. I was really nervous about giving my speech today, but I felt like i did well on it. I would describe Machu Picchu to you all here in this entry, but I dont think it’s possible to describe in words.

P.S.- Hi family! I miss you guys lots and cant wait to see you again.


Hayden Schwartz
“People who are crazy enough think they can change the world are the one who do.” -Steve Jobs
I’m not saying I can change the world but maybe I will try. Over the course of the trip I have really struggled with poverty. It was very hard for me to see it at first. When we first came to Ollantaytambo I saw the stray dogs on the street it made me feel so bad and guilty. I realized that our culture is based on material thing. As the trip went on and I saw the children playing futbol in the streets with so much happiness. I realized I was the poor one not in wealth but in happiness. They have so much happiness and love in their lives and they appreciate the little things. The way the Peruvians look at you as you walk down the street there faces are so welcoming and kind. They do not judge you, but welcome you in with a kind smile. I am taking so much back from this trip not in gift but my outlook on life 

Lots of love, 

Tea before anchor


Machu Picchu - many photos to share once home

Sunday, November 22nd

- Machu Picchu
- Pizza dinner

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Birthday Celebration and Family Time

Josh Buck
Today was the best day with my homestay family by far. Before, we didn’t really engage with them. We watched TV and ate. But today was different. Today we spend a lot more time getting to know each other, and the kids in my homestay family started talking to me. Lillian is in my homestay, and it was her birthday today so we also got lots of good food, and a giant sponge cake. I also did a lot of shopping and I got lots of gifts for everyone in my family. I really enjoyed today and I connected with my homestay more. Tomorrow is Machu Picchu and then one more day until we leave.

Nicolas Rodriguez
Today was the highlight of my trip. We got to spend the whole day with our host family and I really like all of them. They don’t even come close to my true family, but they make me feel at home. The mom is a great cook and the kids are hilarious. I was really bummed because Alex and Luis weren't there, but I had a great time with everybody else. We  played soccer and went to the market and I got all the Rods gifts. Peru is truly a wonder of the world, it is amazing.  

Lillian Humber
Today is my birthday and I have to say I have never had two cakes slammed into my face in one day. For the peruvian tradition, they make you take a bite right out of the cake as a permission to cut the cake. As you take a bite, they push it into your face. Anyway, we went shopping and many of the people made really cool things including everything you can think of including an alpaca! My host family was very fun because we played soccer and played many rounds of uno. Also, my host dad, Abel, has 12 siblings and I got to meet many of them. Anyway, to my mom and dad that are reading this, thanks for dealing with me for 13 years.
Love Lillian

Paulina Ursua Garcia
Spending a day with my host family was probably one of my favorite days here in Peru. We went on a hike and we toured the town (Ollantaytambo) and it was really, really cool. The people here are so nice, especially the children. Children you don’t even know will say hi or hola and they are just the sweetest things. We also went to the market today. They sell so many things there, like alpacas made with alpaca fur. I had so much fun just looking around at the market. Today was a day I will not soon forget. I miss you all and I’ll see you in a few days! 

Happy birthday

Josh played happy birthday on his new pan flute. Later we sang and had cake to celebrate Lillian's 13th birthday. 

Tomorrow is Lillian's birthday!

We are preparing

Saturday, November 21st

- Home stay families all day!
Celebrate Lillian! Today she turns 13!

Evening meeting

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ruins, Shopping and Service

Michael Hills
Today was the first day we were able to shop because yesterday we didn’t have any time to shop. Once we got down from the ruins we were next to the market and I went with Josh and Jacobo an bought some knives. Next we went to the plaza and I bought a blanket and a pan flute. I also bought some gifts for my host family and my family. This also helped me get closer to Jacobo and Josh. I still have some money for the way back. I am happy and sad that there is only 3 day left. I hope to see you all soon.

Ethan Carr
Today we went to the Ollantaytambo Ruins. The ruins were really amazing. They are up on the mountains. There is an amazing view on the town from the top. I was a bit afraid, because I don’t enjoy heights. It was very narrow but you could see everything from the top. It was very hard to climb, because there were very many steps that we had to climb. Climbing the Ollantaytambo Ruins was a really fun and exciting hike.

Ellie Turner
Hi everybody!
    Today was almost like my turning point during this trip. I realized today that there are so many different kinds poverty. There is the most commonly known type which is financially poverty, but there are millions of other types. I feel as though in the Peruvian culture it is almost based on fun and happiness, I wish our culture was too. The American culture is extremely poor in content, we can never be happy. We always have a need for more, more, more. Even with how much we have we need more, we can never be completely happy. In Peru everyone is happy even with as little as some people have. It was definitely a huge eye opener for me. (I love/ miss my family and friends).

Luca Bonanno
Today during the community service project we painted the wooden bleachers bright green. About half way through the day I climbed over the wall that kept us in the community service project and on the other side there was a corn field. I went to go find one of the kids who went exploring in the corn field because it was time for us to go back. But I realized that if I went to go find them I would get lost. Then I went over to the trash pile to go throw rocks out of it because we needed to reuse as many of those rocks as possible for the kids that will go to Peru next year. It was very fun because I just got to throw rocks into a pile and throw the cement into a pile for a while. I miss my parents very much craving a pizza when I get back. from Luca.

Friday, November 20th

- Ollantaytambo ruins hike
- Shopping free time
- Lunch with homestay families
- Community Project Day IV
- Dinner with homestay families