1st week continued....Day 5 & 6

Trip Start Sep 09, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Where I stayed
172, Tanda Pata, San Blas, Cusco

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Friday, September 24, 2010

It is taking far too long to update this blog day by day, the computer at the hostal is very slow so am going to do a summary of the last few weeks, yes today is 24th September so this is my 2 week anniversary, it feels more like 2 months.

Day 5 to 14....

Tuesday 14th Sept

Today I found out that Amaka the other POD volunteer who was due out on Thursday has pulled out for personal reasons. All a bit vague but after she delayed coming out a week before we were going to fly out together I had a feeling she wouldn`t make it. So was a little upset I suppose it was more the realisation that I was now really on my own. I just hadnīt pepared mentally to do it myself, but I have had to quickly adapt. Today was my first day full morning at the San juan Clinica. I joined a class of ten or so special needs 4-year olds. There was one other volunteer who was Swiss. Their lesson was about seeds and plants. They sang a song and then we put seeds into plastic cups, with cotton wool and water so they can grow their own seeds. Lessons start around 9am, teaching for a couple of hours, then the children have a snack, we helped feed those who canīt do it themselves and then there is an hour playing in the courtyards. Then back to the classroom with parents picking up the children from 12.30pm. The children are very affectionate and I had lots of hugs which was nice.  

I had my first spanish lesson at Fairplay, grammar and practical - 2 hours each. My teachers are Rosario and Camucha. Fairplay employs local single mothers and most of the profits go to them rather than the organisation. I was pretty shattered after a morning at the clinica and then 4 solid hours of spanish. Spent the evening at the apartment. There are a few  people staying here. Two Peruvians, Filton and Caesar, 2 Danish girls Maria and Lea, and an English guy called Darren. Most are staying for a few months and everyone seems to have their own laptop or notebook as we have wi fi at the hostal.  I wish I had my own, the PC here is extremely slow, I type and the text appears 10 seconds later...suppose I should be grateful it has a computer and internet. The great thing about the lounge which houses the PC is the fantastic panoramic view of Cusco at night - it`s amazing, with twinkly lights lighting up the surrounding hillls that overlook the city.

Weds 15th Sept

San Blas is perched up on the hillside overlooking the city centre. In Cusco the streets are very narrow and cobbled. Climbing up to San Blas you have to climb a number of steep steps which due to the altitude leave you breathless even though its only 5 mins from the centre. The steps and cobbled stones are slippy, today I nearly slipped over luckily as I lost my footing a local woman behind me caught me before I went flying. I am currently wearing flip flops as the weather is warm and sunny in the daytime. I have walking/trainer type shoes but they are for my trip to Machu Picchu and the jungle.

When you go travelling all the websites tell you to lay out your stuff on a bed beforehand and then half it and half it again, before packing. I did that and was re-packing just hours before leaving...there was just no way I could fit everything in my backpack. Unfortunately all the stuff I decieded to leave out I now actually need! I.e. non slip shoes and jumpers....so I have had to buy a pair of shoes, 60 sols which is about 15 pounds from Bata and a long cardigan and long sleeved tops from my favourite shop Topitop spent about 25 pounds. But as the nights are so cold you really do need scarfs and even gloves at times...most people have proper hiking gear but Iīm a bit more laid back and am living in combat trousers and jeans. Actually I could have just worn one set of clothing and bought the rest out here. Cusco really is geared up for travellers you can get most things here.

Spent the morning at San Juan Clinica again. The taxi takes little under 10 mins and is 3 sols less than a pound each way. The town is full of taxi drivers so its easy to get there and back. Was in another class today with kids aged 5 and 6. Again they were very affectionate and a bit more responsive.  Not sure I feel like Iīm helping that much but at least I can give some of the kids one to one attention.

During my 2nd Spanish practical lesson we went to the San Pedro fruit market. It was huge and the variety of fruits on sale was wide and of good quality.  Jess has booked my Machu Picchu trip for weekend of 25/26 Sept. Canīt wait I hope I wonīt be disappointed. Went to my first SAE pub quiz at the Real McCoy. We didnīt do very well but it was good fun and a good way to meet more people.
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