Location: Cusco

Today we woke up at 7:30 for a breakfast of eggs and tea with Coca, the locally grown herb that supposedly helps with altitude sickness. Then, we took the public bus, which resembled a clown car because its capacity seemed endless, to Casa Mantay. Casa Mantay is a home for teenage mothers and their babies (the mother’s ages ranging from ages 17-13, and their babies two weeks to 4 years old). Before we got to Mantay, we walked through the local market where we oo’d and ahh’d over the carcasses of cows, pigs, alpacas, and goats!! At Mantay, we all rotated through a few different jobs whether it was babysitting the adorable kids, cooking for the whole house, or gardening to help create a more beautiful and welcoming place for the girls and kids. After spending about 5 hours at Mantay, we returned to the hostel and crashed, showered, and got ready to go out into the arctic tundra they call Cusco (it was 34 degrees this morning….). On top of improving the conditions at Casa Mantay, we’re pretty sure we made the woman parked outside our hostel in the alley, Jesuesa, a very very rich woman with our multiple purchases of her hand-knit alpaca socks, gloves, ponchos and more. For dinner, we went to a place near the town square and chatted about our very fun and fulfilling day. Lastly, James and I would like to make a shout out to Mrs. Binder as requested by Charlie.