Location: Cusco

The first full day of activities isn’t one that’s easy to forget. After a long travel day the day before, we were all able to sleep soundly and wake up ready to go. Our first task in the morning was to familiarize ourselves with Cusco with a scavenger hunt. We split into three groups of 5 and went on our way. My group consisted of McKinley, Harry, Sam, Gillian and me. Together, we sang Happy Birthday to a local, drank juice from San Pedro Market, learned three words in Quechua (one of the native languages in Peru), took (the best) group photo, and so much more. I don’t know if my team won yet, but we definitely should. Just saying.

After all meeting up again, we took a short break before our afternoon activity. Our tour guide picked us up to go see some ruins and ride some horses. The ruins were neat just because of the story behind them. When the Spaniards arrived, they tried to destroy as much of the Incan’s regular life to make it more European. So, they tried to take apart many of the buildings and temples as they could, but a lot of those still remain today. Although, the best thing was definitely the amazing view of the city from the top. From there, it was time to go horseback riding! Let me just say, that as enjoyable as it was, it was also pretty stressful (at least for me). On horseback, we passed by fields of sheep and were able to see the beautiful mountains all around us. At one point some of the horses got out of control and started running away from the group, but Sam and Emma were able to calm their horses down and get back to us, with the help of the people guiding us. Shout-out to them.

For dinner that night, we went to a small restaurant called Mr. Soup. The udon soup was delicious and the bread was even better. My favorite part though was playing cards at the table (I won) and getting to know the people, I ate with even better. Another part of getting to know people is actually remembering their name, which is why when we got back to the hotel we played a name-game so that everyone knew everyone. For the most part, we did pretty well.

Today was a fun day, but tomorrow is when we get down to business and start our service. I’m very excited and hope that we can, as a group, get to further understand the people and culture surrounding us.