Friday, July 8, 2016

Hello All - We sadly left Ollantaytambo this morning and headed to Cusco in preparation for our departure tomorrow.  Along the way, we stopped at a non-profit women's weaving cooperative, where they taught us how traditional Peruvian textiles are woven - from raw wool to finished product.  Traditional Peruvian hats and ponchos were thrust upon us, and we spent the next hour or so learning and weaving our own bracelets by hand.  Tonight Adele took us to ... Pizza!  Tomorrow we will tour/shop Cusco for a bit, and then head to the airport.  Your children are amazing - they will have many stories to tell when we return to Nashville.  See you Sunday!  Paul

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hi families!!!!
Today we woke up at 4:00 AM to catch a train to Machu Picchu. We're not even going to try to describe how beautiful and amazing it was to see one of the 7 Wonders of the World, but here are a few pictures to help imagine the beauty. Since we woke up at 4 AM to get there, luckily we made it before the rain started, but you can see in the pictures that the clouds rolled in quickly. It created its own beauty. We made it back to Ollantaytambo and Adela took us out for a surprise alpaca feast, which was surprisingly really good :) We're excited to sleep in tomorrow and can't believe the trip will be over soon. We miss you all and will see you soon!

Taylor and Emily

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Back in Ollantaytambo

Today was our last day with our host families in Piscacucho, so we spent the morning with our families. Some of us went with my two host brothers to some Incan ruins and we walked around and saw an old tunnel that is now blocked off but used to lead to Cusco. Then we went with our families to the school for lunch, for a holiday called Pachamanca. Some of the parents cooked the food over a fire in the back of the school. We ate chicken, lamb, guinea pig, pork ribs, potatoes, corn tortilla cake things (they were good). To drink we had Coke and Inca Kola. Inka Kola tastes like a cream soda dum dum. After lunch, we all said goodbye to our host families and rode back to Ollantaytambo. Everyone enjoyed a hot shower and then went shopping in the town square. After shopping we had dinner at a local restaurant and we had some funky looking green tea (also good). Except for having to wake up at 4 am, we are all excited to see Machu Picchu tomorrow!
-Rachel and Connor

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Last Day in the Community

Day 10,

July 5, Hi! Today was our last day working with the school. We finished up all our paintings around the school. While putting the last touch on our murals we saw a cow and some dogs playing on the soccer field with some local kids. Then we went back to our homestays for lunch.  We saw the kids do a traditional dance and we said our good byes to them. At lunch Taylor, Rachel, and I went with our homestay mom and two of our brothers to see the family’s corn fields. After lunch, back at the school, we continued to clean out the community garden. To end the day we played soccer or football with the neighborhood children.

We miss hot showers but Peru is so breathtaking that it makes it all worth it. See you soon!


Monday, July 4, 2016

Sam's Bday Celebration!

Day 9 Blog and Pictures

July 4,
Day 9, Hola: today was a good day. After relaxing yesterday we got to work again today. We  finished our murals today, but Connor Lucy, Sam, and I took a little longer since we are perfectionists J  We played soccer with the kids too but just kicking around a soccer ball with our 2 years old homestay brother. It feels like we have really been able to brighten up the place with our painting skills when Rachel, Liza, and I went home for lunch our homestay mom helped us do some laundry. She’s   one to ngn lady I can’t ever complain about having to wash clothes in  the washing machine again J. Mr. Phillips Connor. And I just put a Smile on everyone’s   face by making a line and how   about to have some cake to celebrate Sam’s 18th birthday! Happy  birthday Sam and happy 4th of July everyone. Love you Mom and Dad <3. Taylor

End of Trek Pictures

Blog from Day 7 and 8

Yesterday, we went on a beautiful hike through the mountains.  The views were incredible all day and never ceased to amaze us.  A little before lunch, we stopped to rest at a lake and were joined by a stunning yellow retriever looking dog.  He never left our side for the rest of the hike, and we ended up naming him enancho.  The highest peak of our hike was 14,080 feet.  As we came down the back side of the mountain, we were greeted by herds of sheep and llamas.  We passed houses tucked into the side of the mountains and it is incredible to think that people live so simply and isolated from the rest of the world.  One of the coolest parts of the hike was towards the end when we walked a part of the Inca Trail.  After a long day of hiking, we were able to relax our muscle in hot springs at our camp site.

¡Hola Blog- Readers !
Today we slept in by the hot springs in our tents an sleeping bags a bit later than usual because we were all so tired from our hike.  After waking and eating breakfast, we got to write down our leadership stories, or some events that shaped us into the kinds of leaders we are today.  We will share those stories with the group later during the trip.  Next, we ate lunch and packed up all of  our stuff before saying adios to the hot springs.  We are currently on the bus ride back to our homestay families in Piscacucho, and even though we are already half way through an incredible trip, the rest of the group and I could not be more excited for the experiences the next week has to offer.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Photos from Day 7 and 8 -- trek

Hello Parents:
All students returned today from their trek and are back in their home stays. They had a wonderful trek in the Yuracmayo Valley.
Ross Wehner