Location: Aguas Calientes

I awoke to the sound of Nick’s alarm clock piercing the silence. I slapped down on the snooze button and looked over to my roommate, Faris. He was also awoken by the unbelievably annoying noise coming from the tiny machine. We acknowledged each other and nodded off with a mutual understanding of “five more minutes.” Five minutes later, we were reawakened by the alarm and decided that we would finally get up and wake our other roommates. I woke Ryo and Nick, put on some clothes and proceeded to walk around the hotel waking up the rest of the group. Afterward, everyone was downstairs eating a delicious breakfast of pancakes, fruit, Nutella, eggs, juice, oatmeal, etc. we grabbed our previously packed overnight bags and walked to the train station in Ollantaytambo.

Once on the train, we enjoyed the beautiful and scenic views. We passed mountains, glaciers, fields, and riverbanks that we could see from the seats of the train car. We were on the way to Machu Picchu! After roughly an hour and a half, the train stopped in Agua Calientes, the town you have to stay at the get to Machu Picchu.

Sky, Devin, William, and Natalie ushered us all off. We walked up the street to our hotel and gathered in the lobby to be assigned our rooms and roommates for that night. We relaxed for a little while before splitting into groups to go out to get food. My group, along with two others, merged and created a large group of 12 people eating together at a sub-par restaurant across the street from our hotel. When we got back to our hotel, we went to the top floor/restaurant room and wrote our essays on our reactions and thoughts of the trip. After writing about our many service projects, we were given an hour or two of downtime before meeting in the lobby to leave for dinner.

This was when I failed my duty as a team leader. I let down the whole team by forgetting to account for two people still in their rooms. We ended up arriving at the restaurant and settling in before I was informed of my mistake. Embarrassed, I offered to run back to the hotel to get them but found out Natalie was already on her way with both students.

After our delicious dinner out, we returned to the hotel to the news that many of the rooms were flooded––there was a plumbing malfunction. We all rushed up to check if our rooms were waterlogged and luckily, most of us were fortunate. Many of us relaxed in the lobby before eventually going to our rooms, and falling asleep as we had a long and hard hike (to Machu Picchu!) the next day.