Today we drove in a cool bus to the Llama Park. We were able to talk with the community members and learn about their culture. At the llama park, half of us worked on a fence to keep the llamas out and the other half worked on a pathway. We had fun talking with the community members and each other and shared a lot of laughs! We ate a traditional meal, pachamanca, and it was a meal of really yummy potatoes and chicken and corn. Delicious! After lunch, we climbed up a mountain and saw the most beautiful views. On top of the mountain, we saw up close some of the llamas and participated in a pachamama (a traditional ceremony honoring mother nature.) We are all having so much fun and our group has bonded so much! Tomorrow we are going to a rural community to teach kids. – Rachel
Today was amazing in so many aspects. We all feel accomplished in connecting with the Quishuarani community members; whether we know Spanish or not, we’re all making an effort to form a meaningful bond. A highlight was when we were working on the fence and one of us said “Ay karumbas!” out of frustration and Ernesto thought it was hysterical, so every so often he would blurt out “ay karumbas” while hammering and it made all of us giggle. The small interactions like these are what really makes this trip intimate even with a language barrier. When I would have difficulty hammering in a nail they would always encourage me with a smile and a “bueno.” What really blew me away was how the community members, Coqui, and Augustine each have such an amazing appreciation for every moment of life. Their passion and enthusiasm for their land and culture is so genuine, it’s contagious. During the pachamama ceremony we could all feel how devoted they are to nature and the spiritual realm within it. Although I’m not normally a spiritual person, up there I felt a real energy. I am extremely grateful for this experience and the many more to come. Here’s to many more happy days in Peru! -Anna
The group is doing great and bonding with our hosts here in Urubamba. We will be departing for Quishuarani tomorrow and will return to internet access on Saturday. We will have communication with the SStS office via satellite. Expect a blog update on our time in Quishuarani next weekend!