Monday, April 2, 2012

Final Full Day

Nothing is so bittersweet as saying farewell to new family and friends. There's this underlying desire to be home and held close by our own families while feeling this rip and tear as we say goodbye to our home stay families, and actually each other as we are here together. This is once and not ever to be repeated in the same way. We all know this. The break from the constant virtual connection and the difference in this world from our own have helped us to live in the moment with each other. We have reflected, laughed, learned and truly grown in our understanding. As a celebration for our time together in this community, we shared a pachamanca today; all the home stay families, students and teachers gathered together to eat and play. Earlier in the day, we finished as much as we could of the service project, and we purchased last minute gifts, packed and wandered the village of Ollantaytambo. Here we are, ready to return and yet not.
See you soon. Much love, Mrs. Ashley (on behalf of all of us)

 Finishing touches to the goals

 Playground makeover


Many of us

Last full day in Ollantaytambo

Hi Mom, Dad, James, Emily, and Daniel!!!
First of all Happy Birthday Daniel! I can’t believe you’re 10! I miss you guys so much, but I’ve been having so much fun here, other than a little stomach bug last night. Tell everyone hello! I can’t wait to see you in two days!
Love you!

Machu Picchu

Peru Day 10 – Machu Picchu

Hola amigos! Callie and Emma here, plus a few more. Yesterday, we went on an amazing adventure to Machu Picchu! Here are the details. After a rude awakening at four-thirty in the morning, we made our way down to the Ollantaytambo train station for an early departure. Props to the teachers for getting 27 sleepy students to the station on time. Following the boarding of the train and a few seat changes, we were on our way to Machu Picchu. The scenery was stunning.  33 buzzing students and teachers hopped on to a tour bus that would take us up the mountain to our destination. As soon as we arrived, the rain started pouring down. The first part of the tour, we were sopping wet, hovering in our rain jackets and trying to listen to the tour guide. As we climbed the magnificent ruins, the rain began to let up and the sun started to peek out. At the top of the MP, we found a grassy spot to begin our presentations. Nine of us made our presentations, we ate and then a few more made presentations. After that, we hiked up to the sun gate. The view of Machu Picchu from there was amazing. After we came down, the remainder of us presented, and then we hiked back down through MP past the many temples, houses and garden areas. A rainbow bid us farewell. We had snacks in Aguas Calientes The return train was an hour plus late in departing. Once back, we had pizza for dinner. 

 Soccer game the night before Machu Picchu
 Rainy start at Machu Picchu

 At the sun gate

 MP from the sun gate

 Rainbow farewell

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A few words from the travelers

Dear Mom and Dad,
Can you please pack all my stuff in boxes and send them to Peru? I have decided to live here now. Don’t worry I will send you a letter every once in a while. Thank you! J

Dear friends and family,
            I am currently at a soccer game (futbol) sitting next to Lauren and Andy. We are having a great time. Today we were at the work site for the school. It’s coming along, and we are so close to finishing it. I don’t want to leave; it’s amazing here! Every day I have to tell myself that the mountains are real! All of the hikes that we have gone on are so awesome. There is so much stuff to learn here. Tomorrow we are going up Machu Picchu! Excited to tell everyone about the trip. See you soon!
Tu amigo, Logan

Hello people of Am-er-ica,
            This is Jack Gusto and Lauren the sassy pants. We are sitting at a soccer game waiting for our turn to play. Our butts are going to get kicked, literally. Hector wants everyone to know that he is singing “What makes you beautiful.” Today we worked at the school, building the soccer/basketball field. Yesterday we went to the weaving co-op. Mrs. Ashley said she was going to sell us to the co-op to make weaving products for the rest of our lives, or to make money to pay for college! J We are kinda scared now, but we wish we could live in Peru, if without all the sunburns. Tomorrow we are waking up early to go to Machu Picchu. We have to go play soccer now. We love and miss all of you!! Bye J

Jack and Lauren

After an Afternoon's Work

SMA at Moray ruins

Friday, March 30, 2012

Amazing Moray and the stunning ride home

Chinchero Weaving Cooperative

Leadership Building and Relaxing in Inka's Garden

Friday - Chinchero and Moray

Today we're leaving the hotels at 10:00 to travel to Moray and Chinchero. This is a change in plans since the road to Patacancha (a weaving coop) is being paved and is closed. Students viewed a video about the weaving cooperative in Chinchero, so they will recognize the setting. Moray is another amazing Incan site. We enjoyed hearing from two inspiring local leaders yesterday afternoon. We heard from Carrie first. She has established a mobile clinic, traveling to isolated villages and offering healthcare education to the woman of the communities. Ronaldo was the second speaker. He is an author who is recording the centuries-old oral legends and tales of the Andean people, and he presents them in colorfully illustrated children's books. The tales are written in Quechua and Spanish. His latest books are in three languages, with the addition of English. All the students and faculty say hello. Sorry there is so little time for blogging. The trip is going well with new friendships being developed and new adventures being lived. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More photos from Thursday