Monday, June 18, 2007

Cusco, finally!

This is the view of ¨downtown¨ Cusco I get walking down the narrow cobblestone street to the Plaza de Armas.

Phew, I have made it to my first destination! After 4 takeoffs and landings in 24 hours, my ears are a little off, and I was huffing and puffing after walking up a hill-you try it at 10500 feet-otherwise things are good! Oh, but it{s winter here, and the keys don{t actually type what is printed on them, so try to excuse the punctuation!

Today was a lot like the first day of school as a kid-you hope you can find the classrooms, what if the other kids don{t like you, and you can{t get your locker open¿ But you go home at the end of the day and tell your mom what a great day it was.

I had my last flight for awhile, from Lima to Cusco, after a traditional breakfast of bread and cheese, and instant coffee. I am also 0 for 3 on flights being on time but it was nothing like the 3 hour delays yesterday! I was picked up in Cusco by Victor fromt he school, and enjoyed the ride through town. It{s stating the obvious, but it{s so....foreign! Cusco is interesting, surrounded by mountains, and the town is an interesting mix of Incan stonework and walls, Spanish churches they built after invading, tourists and stores catering to them, and third world poverty.

After arriving at the school, I was offered a Mate de Coco, which is just what you drink when you{re here'not bad! Better than all the instant coffee I keep getting. I got a key to my room, which was the metaphorical locker I couldn{t open, but I am taking fewer and fewer tries each time, now that I{ve gotten a demonstration! I met my roommate, Marlene from Holland, who was quick to sit down and chat and make me feel welcome. Finally I thought I should get something figured out about classes, since everyone else took the placement tests while I was on the plane this morning, so I did that and got put in a 2Ñ30 to 6Ñ30 session. Imagine the Ñs are colons. Then I had lunch and loved being the only American at a table of 9'there were 3 Koreans, and one person each from England, Holland, Switzerland, and 2 from Irelend. My class is also pertty international'2 other Americans and 1 girl each from Switzerland anEngland. We are all close in age and hit it off. 2 people from my class and several from lunch are coming to the welcome dinner they do for new studnets tonight so it should be fun getting to know them better! I had been nervous, and forgot how easy it is to meet other people when you{re all traveling in a foreign country alone, together.

It is colder than I thought it would be here. The good news is I have my sleeping bag and Inca Trail layers of clothes! The bad news is that none of the buildings )like oh, say, the classrooms and bedrooms) have heat. I can{t imagine taking a shower! It{s lovely during the day if it{s clear and not windy, though, so I think I will survive! Tomorrow I want to walk through the markets and do some shopping and sightseeing. Not sure when I{ll get pictures up...I{ll have to see how long it takes to download them, if I can download directly from my camera card to my jump drive, to the blog. It could be awhile. Go to the website in the meantime if you want an ideaÑ

I{m thinking about a catnap before dinner...I{ve slept maybe 6 hours the last 2 nights combined. The professors come to the dinner and apparently we all get a free pisco sour )remember guaro sours¿) with our dinner. Party time! If, that is, I can stay up past 8Ñ00.

Leave a comment, unless you are criticizing my punctuation, I love to hear from people!


John Blanco said...

Welcome to Peru! :-) Do the other non-Americans hate you? Is it true what they say?

Have fun! it's frickin 95 here all week! And post pics soon!!!

cellothug said...

They are nice but the Canadian guy, Tom, who is quite nice, got rather offended when someone thought he was American. But they also get annoyed' [America is a continent, not a contry[ down here. How the heck do you make quotation marks on this thing?