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My volunteer vacation: Almost live from Peru!

Sept. 13, 2010

  • Yesterday morning I headed off to the Port of Puno to boat over to see the floating islands, Uros.  Our tour guide, Anjel, was awesome, and gave us a wealth of knowledge about them, though I´m convinced it is mostly for tourists now and no one actually lives there.  I got to ride around for half an hour in one of their reed boats, which was nice.
  • After that, we headed to Amantani where we met our host families.  I met 2 Canadian girls and bunked up with them, though had a room to myself, which is INSANELY scary with no electricity in the middle of nowhere.  Seriously.  I think I can handle anything now after the way I psyched myself out.
  • Our host family cooked us some lunch, and Heather and Jeannette kept telling me how glad they were that I was there, or thre would be no communication between them and the family.  Apparently my minimal Spanish did us some good.  Our host was Rebecca and her husband (whose name I did not catch), and her kids, Brian, 4, and Brenda, 7 months.  Good grief adorableness.  Heather was throwing a pencil with Brian at one point (yes…the things we do to make it fun out here 🙂 and slung it right in his face.  It was unsharpened, and I´m sure he´s played with worse things before, but BOY OH BOY, the kid pouted like a king.  He would not even look at us during lunch.  Turned his back and faced the wall, in fact.
  • We headed up to the highest elevated mountain on Amantani after lunch (soup, again).I can´t remember the exact height, I´ll have to look it up when I´m home.  Let me just say… I¨ve never been more proud of myself than after this hike.  Quite honestly, I was not expecting  HALF of the hiking we did these past 2 weeks, but the fact that I hacked it in this altitude…well, I have never wanted to pat myself on the back so badly.  Unfortunately, that was tough given the huffing and puffing, so I took some unattractive pictures instead to prove my success.  You know, flared nostrils, red cheeks, frazzled hair.  At least the scene behind me looks good.  Sunset over Lago Titcaca from the top.  Ah-mazin´.
  • We trudged down after the too fast sunset and our host families cooks us dinner, and where I again translated to the Canadians.  I never knew I knew this much Espanol.  Go me.  Rebecca then surprised us and showed us to our clothing for the night.  Hello touristy part of the trip.  We all had to dress up in the native clothing.  Um.  I have never laughed so hard.  We looked like teletubbies!  I can´t wait to show you the native dance.  It basically involves swinging your arms.  Forever and ever.  We finished feista-ing at a reasonable hour and headed to bed, me in my lonely concrete room, and my candle.  I slept in shoes, two pairs of pants, 3 shirts, one fleece jacket, windbreaker, and hat.  It was cold.
  • Woke up this morning to find out that Rebecca tricked us and there was a REAL toilet around the corner and we didn´t have to be using the hole in the field like we had been.  Thanks, Rebecca.
  • Had breakfast and headed over by boat to Tequila.  MY OH BEAUTIFUL.  And hello more hiking.  Seriously, I would be the hottest mama ever if I had to hike this much at home.  Kind of thinking I shouldn´t get behind and go ahead and train for a marathon now that I´m so fit.  Anyway, Tequile is GORGEOUS and we had lunch there, which made my stomach hurt, but it´s cool because Coca tea cures everything.  What will I do without it when I´m home???
  • This tour actually had many more people than I expected and I have made a lot of new travel friends.  There seems to be a sort of pact between solo travelers that come across each other that involves making sure we´re always in contact for future trips.  I think it´s safe to say I´ll always have a friend now who´s up for going somewhere sometime.  3 new Australian buds and 2 Canadians, we´re all set to inform each other of upcoming and desired destinations.
  • Interesting to note: I have been told 3 times now that I don´t have an American accent (what is that??) and that I definitely don´t sound like a Texan.  Who am I, really?!
  • I´m off to dinner with my new friends now, and then Lima tomorrow, then home!

1 more day of Coca tea –
Kate

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