Global: Session 2 - Lifeworks Peru 2
Posted: Sun, Jul 24, 2016
Location: Machu Picchu
This morning we woke up excited to visit the famous ruins of Machu Picchu. After a quick breakfast of typical Peruvian cuisine, we walked to our bus stop. The train was long, but well worth it. As soon as we arrived, we applied sunscreen and bug spray because they were important necessities for the long hike ahead.
Our tour guide, Santiago, led us all around the Machu Picchu ruins and showed us all of the important monuments, views, and pieces of historical significance around the area. The scenery of the vast mountains and historical architecture was spectacular from everyone in the mountains.
We spent a few hours exploring the Machu Picchu ruins, and then we started our hike to the Sun Gate, an adjacent mountain with a panoramic view of the Machu Picchu ruins. The road was rocky, and the mountain was steep, but the view at the top was stunning. Enjoying the absolutely gorgeous skyline, we took a quick break to refill on water, snakes and energy. The entire walk back we were in awe as we carefully hiked down the mountain, watching the Machu Picchu ruins the whole time.
Leaving the park, we reflected our on our once in a lifetime experience in Machu Picchu. We ate a late lunch and boarded our train back to Ollantaytambo. We felt a little bittersweet about getting some rest, but we had to leave this amazing part of our lives in the past.
Posted: Sat, Jul 23, 2016
Location: Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
Today we went on a Peru Rail train to go to Aguas Calientes (Hot Waters in English). The town we stayed in was near Machu Picchu. Once we settled into our new hotel, we all walked to the hot springs, which give the town its name. Not only were the hot springs incredibly relaxing, but we also got to socialize with people from all over the world.
After the hot springs, we went to lunch and enjoyed a great buffet. Also, we enjoyed shopping for a few hours later in the day. We got many great souvenirs and gifts for family and friends.
The town we were in was pretty touristy, but we had a great time! We had a good dinner after a long, fun day. We are incredibly excited for Machu Picchu tomorrow!
Posted: Fri, Jul 22, 2016
Today we did a lot of cool stuff like painting, bee keeping, chocolate tasting and chicha tasting. First, we visited a house where we received a tutorial on pottery and painting. We even got to try out the pottery wheel!
Then we moved on to the bee farm. The bee keeper told us about the farm and the bees. Then he let us hold the bees in our hands. Although it scared most of us, most of us tried it. The bee keeper told us that he had been stung around 3000 times in his life, but luckily, none of us got stung! After we held the bees, the man let us cut out some of the honeycomb, so we could try the fresh honey.
Once we finished placing orders for honey, we walked to the chocolate farm down the road. After the workers gave us a run down of the chocolate making process, we got to explore their facilities. We then took some hot cocoa beans and put them in a grinder along with other ingredients to make a powdery dark chocolate brownie.
Everyone bought chocolate, and we walked to a house where they make chicha (a common Peruvian drink). As they explained all the different types of chicha, we got to sample all of them.
To end the day we walked to what seemed like the middle of nowhere. When we got there, it was a beautiful garden with a restaurant in the middle. We enjoyed a great meal together!
Posted: Thu, Jul 21, 2016
A Preconceived Notion
The preconceived notion when one imagines volunteering is that you will always be teaching or just talking with children, but it isn’t always that way. In recent days, we did lots of physical labor, and we have corn to realize how important and lasting that kind of volunteering can be. We built and planted an entire garden with a fence by hand in front of a school. That will provide food in the future, when their government rations are not enough.
To finish the garden, we stayed until the sun went down. Many volunteers go to these countries and are excited to begin projects, but neglect to complete them. However, we wanted to complete the job we started to the fullest. We learned whether you’re painting rocks, digging on your hands and knees, or teaching children colors in English, it is essential to give the community what they need to your greatest ability.
Posted: Wed, Jul 20, 2016