Experiencing a rich culture, and making connections

Working with the children, working in and around the home, experiencing the rich culture, and making connections were so meaningful to me. Every aspect of my week was rich and meaningful. We cleared a bunch of weeds that were overtaking the soccer field/basketball court. Then during the free time of the day, we played a great game of soccer with some of the kids. That was a great moment - seeing the benefit of the labor. Then we went to work on the cement floor of the future classroom. Helping out with that project, knowing that the children will have a place to study away from distraction was great.

There was plenty of food and it was FANTASTIC. I miss the food! Every meal, I was raving about how fabulous the food was. It was fresh and full of wonderful flavor. There was a good amount of free time. I was able to visit an internet cafe within a minute's walk to check my email. I had time to call home as well.

The room was great! The view was spectacular. The shower had warm water. The beds were cozy. The architecture was great. The stairs are a great reminder of the altitude :)

Everyone is so happy and laid back, but they definitely aren't afraid to work hard, even the kids. Since there was a teacher strike while I was there, the boys were involved in laying the cement floor and separating the rocks. For a major city, it was so peaceful. I loved waking up to the sound of roosters in the morning and hearing the neighbor's radio while working outside during the afternoon. There was no rushing traffic or loud city sounds that I'm accustomed to in the States. The albergue was so restful, even when I was working hard. The history is rich and I was so happy to get to learn some Quechua and see the kids doing many things to keep a hold of their heritage. Seeing the Inca influence throughout the city and daily life was really special. Ruins are scattered everywhere. I was so impressed to see the rural areas on the outskirts of Cusco. It really is a beautiful place with amazing people. The generosity of the people I met throughout my trip was unmatched to anywhere I have been. They share what they have with you and with each other. It makes you feel welcome. You quickly feel a part of the community. Everyone there makes you feel welcomed into their hearts and home. - April McCarthy-Morgan, April 2012

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