Location: Cuzco, Peru

Can you imagine living in a world where you couldn’t feed yourself, shower or even dress yourself?

Today, we visited the orphanage, and it was an amazing experience but a hard one. We split up into two groups, and half of us went to Casa Mantay again, and the other half went to the orphanage. Our day started with a really fun bus ride to the orphanage, where we all bonded as a group; we sang songs and played the ukulele.

When we got to the orphanage, I was expecting it to be a group of children with some disabilities, but I was very surprised to find out that the place was providing support for men, woman, and children that had severe mental and physical disabilities. It was shocking to see but also made me appreciate the fact that we all have our health and how lucky we are. My group fed the women and children, we had to clothe them, and we cleaned their rooms and did the laundry. The laundry was very interesting and also muscle strenuous as they had no machine just buckets of water, soap and drying racks. We all took turns spending time with the woman and the children, and I can honestly say that I admire the nuns so much for the work they do at the orphanage because one day was very hard for me so I cannot imagine doing this job every single day. The experience was really good to have, and I feel that I learned so much, and I appreciate the things we have a lot more. It was also an amazing bonding experience between my group; we all got much closer.

After the orphanage, my group went for lunch in the middle of Cuzco, which was fantastic because the food here is phenomenal. Then, we went to the market, which was so colorful and fun and in there you could probably buy anything. There was meat, clothes, bread, juice, candy and so much more. Most people in my group bought Peruvian sweaters, scarves, and mittens, as it is very cold in Cuzco at night. Then, we all came back to the hotel and waited for the others from Casa Mantay to return. Everyone from Casa Mantay said they had an amazing experience and got to play with the children and paint rooms and they said it was very fun. When everyone was back, we did a fun little group activity discussing the goals of the trip and obstacles and then we went out for a fantastic dinner.

Every single day we spend together the more we feel like a family, and I can’t wait to see how close we are by the end of 21 days.