Location: Cuzco

It has been a rather cozy day today, weather-wise — around 50 degrees (around 12 degrees Celsius) all day. The Sacred Valley Service team went to Santa Teresa (a local home shelter) for the last time:( We helped out with cleaning floors, cleaning windows, washing dishes, feeding kids and elders, etc. It was a great chance for serving people, and we certainly had tons of fun.

While saying goodbye was hard, our dear leader Jose managed to find this great local restaurant for lunch; it is called Yola. We all got the smallest portion on the menu, but the dishes definitely did more than just filling us up, it was delicious! I got a dish called Arroz con pollo, it has authentic Peruvian chicken and rice and bean, and it was fire! Jose took us around the city, and we toured numerous malls and sites: Quorikancha, Judicial power, San Francisco Square, Santa Clara Arc, and San Pedro Square and markets.

In addition to the perfect sunlight and the gentle breeze, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to enter a local Chabad that lies within one of the countless alleyways. It was quite a sight, and it definitely added more diversity and perspective to the trip. I played table tennis with an Israelite who was insanely good at Ping Pong. It was the coolest experience ever! Right after we got back to the hostel, some of us, driven by our shopping hormones, exploited our free time by shopping all around Cusco:) We spent the entire an hour and a half going through alleyways purchasing all the unique, local goods that we don’t get to see very often, and they happened to be very cheap:)

And last, but definitely not least, we had our surprise dinner on the roof of our Hostel. The leaders brought us pizzas and marshmallows! Before we consumed all the good old pizzas, we had a great reflection together on the roof where we started a bonfire. It was amazing to hear people sharing different insights and perspectives on the trip. The theme that Bill introduced us was how “chemical reaction” takes `place among us just as it takes place with the wood, heat, and oxygen. It has been a fantastic last day in Cusco, and I am definitely going to miss it so much!