My first week in Cusco is coming to a close and it's certainly been an unforgettable experience. Most of my days are spent studying Spanish as during the day I have lessons, and at night I work on my homework. I actually quite like this routine. I take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the everyday life in Peru.
My days start off with breakfast with my Peruvian family. It's incredible how much we take language for granted..I've quickly learned how frustrating it can be to not be able to express myself and precisely describe what I mean. But within this challenge lies fun as well... as at every meal my Peruvian family and I sit together and try to converse and find common grounds in foreign thoughts and languages. We come from different parts of the world, see the world through different lenses, yet manage to to laugh together every morning about some minute details. This is why travelling is so great. And why life is really very simple.
One of the highlights of my day is getting to school. Although taxis have a flat rate of around $1CAD and I could go to school by taxi every day, I instead take public transit each morning. At a cost of around $.20CAD, the public transit in Peru is something else...The main component of public transit consists of mini-buses which are basically slightly larger vans. In Peru, however, these vans fit ... simply put, incredible amounts of people. Or not even incredible amounts- uncomprehensible amounts is the better description. So here I am each morning, taller than everybody, sitting (sometimes standing bent over) with 20 other locals in a small van. It's incredible.
Cusco is a very interesting town. I try to take in everything for what it is and not pass judgement. The city is beautiful in its core center, but is also surrounded by obvious poverty, unfinished homes, and struggles. The struggle of the locals can often times be seen on their faces, but so can the passion for their friendships, children, or their love for sports and dance!
Below, enjoy some of the things that my eyes have been feasting on during my time off from school....