Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End May 05, 2012

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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We've had a busy couple of weeks…

First I had the awesome couchsurfers from Chile, and then the next week Ronald got back. That weekend we went to Cusco. I dropped off a couple of necklaces that needed to be fixed and we were planning to go to a Korean restaurant, but it was closed! L But the real reason we went to Cusco was to see Ira’s new baby girl, Ela Valentina. She was sleeping when we were there so we mostly chatted with each other while Sao played with their dog, Felipe. They’d missed each other it seems.

Sunday we went to Pisaq to pick up my purse. It wasn’t ready, surprise, surprise. So I told him I’d be back next Sunday (the big market is only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays). While we were there we saw Gaby and Pablo! They’d never left since I went with them and were selling their jewelry. She said not many people were buying there in Pisaq but they were sort of waiting for Karina it seems. Karina had gone to Lima to buy a VW combi (van). Yes, the hippie kind. But it fell through so she was supposedly coming on Tuesday to pick them up instead of Saturday. Don’t know if that happened or not!

Carlos, our other couchsurfer, stayed with us a couple of nights and then left his big backpack with us while he went to Machu Picchu. He took the bus to Santa Teresa and then walked a few hours to Aguas Calientes. Then he walked up the hill instead of taking the bus which took him about 2 hours so he was pretty beat when he came by last night to pick up his stuff.

Basically all of these couchsurfers make me jealous that I’m not just off traveling! Ronald and I have been compiling a list of all the places we want to go nearby, so now we’ll have to get on it to go to all of them and not wait until the last minute when it’s too late!

Yesterday morning I went with a volunteer to a PRONOEI close by. PRONOEIS stand for "Programa No Escolarizado Inicial". It’s a more rural program that works with smaller communities. A room in the local community is used to take care of 3 to 5 year olds (roughly 6 – 15 children). The person who teaches is not a trained teacher but a member from the local community and they need lots of help.

The one I visited had 8 kids and the teacher was 23 years old and still in school. The room was tiny and once most of the kids were there, they started class with a prayer and some songs. Then they marked their own attendance (big deal) and our volunteer tried to tell them a story but it was too long and they lost focus after about 2 minutes.

So we went straight to the activity of cutting a paper plate and decorating it with colored paper to make it look like a rainbow-colored fish. Then we tied some string to them and ran around outside making the fish “fly”. There’s a video to the right of a couple of them crashing into each other…

Then they had lunch around 11:30. Two moms make their lunch every day because they can’t afford to pay cooks. I don’t know if it’s the same two moms or not, but today they made (over a wood fire) a humongous pot of rice and a humongous pot of tuna saltado, tuna, french fries, and onions. The tuna was too smelly so I didn’t try it, but our volunteer said it was really good.

Anyways, there’s a festival on Sunday, the last Inca one of the year, and I want to go, but I really want my purse!
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