Hello, from Peru! I just arrived in Cusco, Peru on Sunday and so far, I am loving it. I am staying with a host family and I have enjoyed getting to know them and their culture! Having a host family makes it a lot easier to ease into this experience and make the most of it. I am also able to advance my Spanish speaking skills through daily communication with them. Today was my first day volunteering in Cusco. I am a volunteer at Casa Mantay, which is a home for young mothers, aged 12 to 18, and their children. Today I made a poster to help teach the mothers how to ask for a favor, as this is a lesson they will be covering soon. While this may seem odd to a student in the United States, lessons like this one are very important for helping these women live independent and empowered lives. I loved working with the children, and I am very excited for the next five weeks.
For this week, my schedule is to go to Spanish classes in the city center from 9 am to 11 am, and then to Casa Mantay from 2 pm to 6 pm. This leaves a couple of hours for me to explore the city during the day. As I previously said, having a host family has been wonderful as they have taught me how to live in this city. One particular challenge that I have encountered is using the bus system. It can get hectic, and while I can speak a decent amount of Spanish, it is hard for me to understand others in this chaotic situation. I believe that with time this will get easier for me, and I am grateful to participate in this part of daily Cusco life. Overall, my transition into life in Cusco has been fairly uncomplicated and I am excited for five weeks of new experiences!