Yesterday we spent the day at Machu Picchu. Apart from the medical experiences, this was one of the moments many of us in the trip had been anticipating. Our day started off with an early train ride to Aguas Calientes, on which we could see many remarkable views of the Andes. From there, we took a bus up to Machu Picchu on a road full of plenty of switchbacks. The views were amazing! We learned many things about the Incas and how the city was built and found from our awesome guide Odin. We had a buffet lunch at a nearby hotel and we’re able to try some of the typical Peruvian foods that we hadn’t yet had. After lunch some of the group went back up for more hiking to the SunGate. Rain was trickling down a bit but once we got to the top, the beautiful view was worth the climb. The rest of the group stayed at the main site to explore more of what we hadn’t yet seen if the city. It was very peaceful because the rain drove a lot of visitors out of the area, allowing us to take many reflective moments is such a unique and special place.
On the train ride back to Ollantaytambo, the staff on our train danced a traditional Peruvian dance. A lady was in a colorful costume and performed a dance meant to honor Virgin del Carmen. It was special to be able to see more aperuvian traditions, but those that were asleep on the train were startled awake by the loud music and then immediately met with the costume that consisted of a bloude wig, face mask with devil horns and vampire fangs, and a colorful shirt and skirt. It was memorable to say the least. After this dance the rest of the staff put of a fashion show to items made from alpaca wool. It was fun to see some Peruvian fashion, but also humorous to watch a random fashion show on our hour and a half long train ride.
After arriving in Ollantaytambo we picked up a few of the professionals that stayed behind at our hotel. We then stared back to Cusco, where we will be spending two nights before the students head to Arequipa and the professionals head home. Today we have a free day in Cusco, during which the women are going shopping with the girls from the girls shelter we worked with and the men are shopping for the boys shelter.
Aileth and Janelle