Don´t rely on technology....(17-22 October 2010)

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

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sunday 17th October 2010

Itīs amazing how time flies when you are in an internet cafe (my second home)!. I spent 5 hours in one today, 3 of them were on skype to my dad, brother and mate Nick and the other 2 on updating my blog of my time in the jungle. But Cusco is great, there are literally internet cafes on every corner of the street. I am though very seriously considering buying a notebook when I come home to the UK so that I can take it on my travels to Oz and Asia.

Monday 18th October 2010

Spent the day working at the South American Explorers Club. Iīm helping to update their information booklet for tourists and designing a flyer to promote the BBQ Birthday Party that the clubhouse is hosting on Friday. Itīs nice to be using skills that I would normally use everyday at work, and to be working in an office kind of environment where we can chat and gossip away. It`s much more sociable than the other type of volunteer work I have been doing. I am definitely a people person, and my lowest moments here in Peru have been when I have been doing volunteer work and had no real interaction with anyone all day, i.e not being able to speak the language means that although I have been playing with the kids and speaking my best Espanol it has just been isolating and quite lonely. Thankfully those days are few and far between, but I am definitely happier now that I am working a few days at SAE with Mary and Doris. The combination of doing  a bit of teaching, travelling and working at SAE for me now is the right balance to keep me from getting bored.

Tuesday 19th October 2010

Today is my last but one lesson with the children at Chinchero. I actually felt a bit guilty telling Roxana that I wouldnīt be coming back as originally I was going to be with them for 3 months. But to be honest the stress of coming up with different lesson plans all the time and just making it up as I go along was making me unhappy and I was not enjoying my time as I should. I think if I had come to Peru knowing I was going to teach I would have come much more prepared, but as it is I donīt feel that I am getting anything out of the experience. My lessons seem to go ok, I always have at least 4 children attending, some of the other volunteers reported that they only had one on occasions, so that never happened to me which I hope is a good sign that Iīm not that bad! 

I met a guy in my hostal today who was from Brighton, but works in Worthing and actually grew up there too...itīs a small world! Really nice guy, quite cute but is travelling the world with his girlfriend - ce la vie!!

Wednesday 20th October 2010

Today I worked at SAE and then as is my usual social highlight and Weds night activity I went to the pub quiz at Real McCoy. I met a really nice English girl Michelle who joined our SAE team. She is travelling for a year and is in South America for a couple of months before heading to New Zealand and Australia. We came joint second in the quiz...

Thursday 20th October 2010

OMG I had a nightmare today. I was at the SAE Clubhouse downloading the latest images from my camera onto my USB memory stick where I haved stored all my pictures of my travels, lesson plans and the astrocartography charts and MP3 recording from Dan....when it went all particular and then all my files just disappeared. I took a deep breath and ejected the USB stick and then inserted it again hoping it was just a glitch...but oh no everything had gone. ARHHHHHHH. Thank the lord though I had not relied on the USB only and deleted all the photos from my camera otherwise I think I would have truely died on the spot. The memory stick on my camera is huge so I keep all my images and have them in a few different places i.e cds too. The main thing was all the info on the Astrocartography reading that I had a few weeks back. It had cost me $100 for the charts and the recording and I hadnīt backed it up anywhere - they were lost...or were they?
I emailed Dan straight away telling him my woes and hoped and prayed that he had not deleted the files...and then I waited for a reply. In the meantime I went to one of my favourite Internet cafes and took my camera along and the USB stick hoping that by some miracle they might reappear on another computer, but alas no such luck. So what I did in the end was copy all the photos thus far from my camera onto a DVD and to add a nice touch we burned a image of me from Machu Picchu onto the cover which was an nice touch and made me feel a little happier.

Then low and behold I got an email from Dan, he said he would be in Cusco next week and would come into the SAE office and download all the files for me again - thankfully he hadnīt deleted them. Phew all I needed now was another memory stick just to be on the safe side and I would also download them onto a cd - life is good again!!!

The weather was absolutely appalling today, one of the reasons I have decided I need to go travelling and head south to Argentina and the sun. The rainy season in Cusco doesnīt usually start until mid or late November and its October, but for the last few weeks it really has been like being back home in the grim and grey of autumn...I was meeting up with Dan and Steffi the two Ánt Experts` I met in the Jungle a few weeks back. They were in Cusco to visit Machu Picchu before heading up north to another jungle to research more ants. By the time I met them for dinner the rain was torrential it was literally cascading down the steep steps of San Blas like a waterfall. I decided to walk as I thought the chances of getting a taxi were nil, but I ended up getting totally drenched. My jeans were soaked right up to the knee, Iīve never been so wet in my life! Anyway I eventually found their hostal and we made our way to the Circus, which had been recommended. It was a cool place but there were no other guests so lacked some atmosphere. We had a nice meal and a drink, but Steffi was on the soft stuff, I just thought she wasnīt much of a drinker....but after a while it came out that she was 3 months pregnant - even her mum didnīt know yet!

Friday 22nd October 2010

Today I went on the search for balloons for the SAE BBQ. There is a street just down from the Plaza which sells lots of crafty materials and Iīve used it quite a lot when doing lessons for the kids. Itīs always fun trying to explain what I want with my Spanglish and lots of hand actions. Can can you imagine how I tried to explain balloons to them, well it seemed to worked and they did in fact sell them!

I then went and booked a 2 day trip to Lake Titicaca which is the highest lake in the world at 3,870 metres above sea level. I would be travelling by bus overnight on Saturday and coming back Monday night and would have one nights accommodation....all for 50 pounds which I didnīt think was too bad.

I then went back to the SAE clubhouse to help them get ready for the BBQ. Do you know its amazing how long it takes to blow up balloons, I wanted the place to look like we were having a party so had to blow up quite a few...well nearly 2 hours of puffing later all the balloons were tied up and we were ready to go.

The BBQ was from 1pm to 4pm and we really had no idea how many people would come. The SAE was set up 33 years ago and has clubhouses in Quinto, Equator, Lima, Peru and Buenos Aires. As a special offer SAE were offering half price membership and 2 for 1. We had prepared a punch and cookies as a freebie for all guests, you had to pay for hot dogs and drinks. The weather had stayed dry thankfully and in the end we has about 20 people. Michelle the English girl I met earlier came along. We chatted and she is planning to move onto Argentina in November so we said if it works out will try and meet up on Buenos Aires and perhaps do Iguaza Falls together. She was off on a trek to Machu Picchu but we said weīd try and hook up before she left to go back to Lima. We also had a raffle, I never win these things, but Si one of the SAE members who is always at the Pub Quiz won a dinner for two at the Circus, where I had been the night before. Doris and I joked to him about who he would take and in the end he invited us both out, which as nice.

I also met a English and Peruvian couple, they came into the SAE after the party to post up a notice to see is anyone wanted to join them on a whistlestop tour of Bolivia and didnīt take me too long to put my hand up and say I would. Frank who is from Peru runs a tour company Half Orange, with his English girlfriend Charlotte. He was planning to do a rekkie of some tourist sites that he had not been to before before having to do a tour of them in November. So he wanted someone to share petrol and be some company too. It would be for a week or so and Iīd see other countries Iīd probably not get to, but it would mean postponing my final lesson with the kids in Chinchero. It was going to be a Halloween special, but Iīm sure they wouldnīt miss me. The only other problem was that I was going to be in Puno at Lake Titicaca for the weekend, however it looked like Frank would arrive in Puno on the Tuesday morning, so I could just get one extra nights accommodation and then meet him there...all sounded plausable until...the next day Charlotte came into the SAE office and said that Frank had lost his wallet which included his driving licence and he couldnīt travel until he had a replacement which could take days. So I was going to have to check my email on Monday in Puno to see if I was to wait there or get the bus back to Cusco and then weīd go from there a few days later......

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