Nov 112014
 

Tuesday 11/11/14. Veterans Day in US

Muchisimas Gracias to our vets!  Y a Dios por protegerme y por su cuidar.
It has been quite an adventure these last few days, ending with a bit of a glitch with the train ride, but that was the only one for three whole days of trek and trip, and hiking, and wilderness, and the amazing ruins and the climb yesterday!  It really was a great trip!  I would recommend it to many!  Not all, because of the difficulty of the trek part, but it was a great experience!
I had some trouble winding down last night, didn’t get to sleep til after midnight, because I kept getting up to add more items to the list for tomorrow.  I wanna get my laundry done and go to the Supermercado before my trip to Puno Wednesday, which involves more touring the countryside, so that we are not just in a bus for 8 hours for the drive to Puno.  So need snacks and water.  I need to recharge my camera batteries and delete a bunch of not-so-good photos of Machu Picchu, cuz on the climb I just kept taking random photos of the valley and surrounds that I’m sure didn’t really show the beauty that I was seeing.
This morning I knocked on the front door of the little lavandaria down the way that I have been using, per Pilar’s recommendation, and he opened up to accept my super stinky dirty trek clothes that I didn’t want to pack in my suitcase without getting them clean first.  Ooooooh, huelen feo!  They really smell bad!  This was the first time that I saw into their little tienda a bit deeper to the home, that is similar in construction to Pilar’s with the Spanish Colonial architecture and the central patio.  As he was fiddling with taking all of the paraphernalia and linens (that get piled there overnight) off of the scale that they use for each customer;  s/.3 por kilo, I took a bit of a look around.  There are 7 little washing machines of a variety of shapes and sizes lining one wall, and clothes lines hanging every which way, and I know they have dryers somewhere too, cuz sometimes my clothes have been warm and dry in the evenings when I pick them up.  Sometimes not so much.
So today, I can take my time with everything.  I have no real obligations, except my little list, that I can do at a leisurely pace throughout my day while I am exploring.  It’s sunny and blue this morning, not super warm yet, but will hopefully get warmer, and I plan to just walk and explore, and walk, and visit the kids at Maximo.  I would visit the kiddos at the orphanage if it wasn’t such a long way to go.
The new volunteer, Page, here from England, is working in a detention facility for kids that has even fewer resources than Hogar de las Estrellas.  She says that there are no supplies for even bathing, no soap, no toothbrushes for the kids, no toothpaste or anything like it, no towels.  The kids do not own a change of clothes, they are here with the clothes that they were picked up in, so even if there were facilities for laundering, they would have to be naked to do it.  The single lightbulb in the place does not work, either burned out or not hooked up properly.  And only one person, occasionally there, who speaks Spanish.
Did I say Spanish?  I meant Castellano.  I have now met several purists who are insistent that Maximo Nivel teaches classes in Castellano, my teacher, Nadher, included.  And Rolando, and Romulo too, are very adamant that all of us gringos who think we’re learning Spanish should go to Spain, because all of Latin America speaks Castellano.
So I am back to my room at 1:00 in the afternoon, after going to the big outdoor market for produce, and to the little Supermercado for other snacks and things to take with me on the trip to Puno tomorrow, and to Lake Titicaca on Thursday.  And I am just sitting on my bed in the sunshine from the skylight, enjoying lunch of plantain chips dipped in peanut butter, and chocolate cereal.  Mmmmmm!  So nutritious!  But sure tastes good!
I stopped by MN earlier this morning to see if my WiFi would work better, but no such luck, and their computers were all occupied.  I did find another little bakery to get a few yummy things for the MN staff on Friday when I am up and about after the night busride, and I found some Americano type peanut butter for Pilar, with all the peanuts in it, so I know she’ll enjoy that!

I had a nice leisurely hot shower this morning, and rinsed out some unders, and a good breakfast with the other volunteers before they left for classes and work.  I took a load of trek clothes, etc to the lavandaria to be washed as I couldn’t stand the thought of packing them in my suitcase in their current state of stench.  And now, I am going to rest……
I found a book for Jesse about Machu Picchu, in spanish.  I could also get it in Portuguese, German, Italian, or French, but thought that he would be able to understand more in espanol.  I also found him his first lessons in Quechua, in a book, in the same place.  Not that he can use it very much unless he comes to Peru, but he’s a language guy, right?  Hopefully he’ll like it, or at least get a kick out of it.
So just 5 more days and I will be home.  It really has gone quickly, and I am feeling like it is just about time to go, so it’s all working out well.  Glad that I have two more days of exciting new travel stuff and then one day to recuperate and one day to pack up and go in the pm.  I put more minutes on the phone so that I can call Friday or Sat and just touch bases.
OMG!  I hear a vacuum!  I’m thinking it is a wet-dry vac from the construction downstairs, and not a household appliance cuz they are just not common in Cusco.  This is wonderful to be resting, journalling, just doing a few things here and there, and we will finish up with Salsa again tonight! ????
I’ve been studying and doing spanish app all afternoon while it rains.  Gonna try to get my laundry before salsa, or may have to leave salsa early to get it before they close tonight.  :-(.  Cuz I won’t be here to pick it up tomorrow.  They’re picking me up here at 6:30 tomorrow morning.
The young girl at the lavandaria, Elsa, asked me for my email address and if I have facebook.  I wrote down my gmail account for her and my name.  I hope she emails me!  She’s a neat kid!  ‘Got my laundry;  kinda wish that I had had the outer part of my jacket washed too.  It is filthy from all the time on the ground during our trek.  But I need to take it with me to the Lake, so will not be having it washed til I get back, I think.
Pilar invited us all to lunch on Saturday lunch for my last day.  I want to get her a jar of the Americano peanut butter, and maybe some pastries for the MN staff, and for us girls here too on Friday.  I kinda did a preliminary pack job tonight.  Gonna need the suitcase that I brought with the donations, I have so much stuff!  What happened?!!  I’ve even gotten rid of some stuff, but I have a bunch of gifts too, and books.  Why do I do that?  Books are heavy, and I don’t learn.  I still buy them.

  3 Responses to “Tu. 11/11/14. Veterans Day”

  1. Hi Steph!

    I finally got a chance to see your website. You have been super busy. Sounds like you are enjoying yourself, and that’s great!

    Would love to hear all about Peru when you come back.

    Love
    Mick

  2. Thanks for checking it out The sight Micki! Yes, super busy right up til last Tuesday, and now am in Puno to see Lake Titicaca tomorrow, so will be busy almost right up until I leave. I have Saturday to regroup and repack, and Pilar, my homestay mom wants to go out to lunch with all four of us volunteers staying at her place, so will need to be sure and get ready beforehand, as meals tend to go long here in Latin America. Will see you guys at Thanksgiving hopefully? Verdad? And I’ll bring pictures! Love and hugs all around! Steph

  3. Hi Steph!

    I finally got a chance to see your website. You have been super busy. Sounds like you are enjoying yourself, and that’s great!

    Would love to hear all about Peru when you come back.

    Love
    Mick

   

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