School is Fun
I’m taking two classes in Cusco. My first class begins bright and early at 7:30 AM! Yay!! … Not. But whatever, it’s the class I was most looking forward to so I deal. Luckily, my professor for History of Incan Civilization (yeah, still a nerd,) is enthusiastic about the subject. He makes an already fun course even better by creating interactive, artistic activities and, my favorite part, field trips!
Our first field trip was last Sunday. We departed Cusco early in the morning for another adventure. My Incan history class, along with the professor’s other class, started our morning driving down dirt roads around invisible corners overlooking deep ravines.
The ride was worth every cringe worthy turn when we finally reach our first destination: the Incan Trail.
Why Did the Sheep Cross the Road?
Our job was to walk the Incan trail and pick up garbage. Fortunately, the trail was incredibly clean! I was only able to personally find two pieces of trash. Not counting any pieces of paper because you definitely don’t want to go anywhere near those… Our professor has been working for years with his students to create signs in English and Spanish that say “No Littering” and such.
On our hike, not very far from the main road, we came across a herd of sheep! The sheep and lambs quickly parted like the wool sea. Well, the adult sheep did. Several of the babies ran back and forth a few times bleating frantically as they tried to locate which side their mothers ended up on.
We continued down the path to a place where gringos to not often frequent. However, that is likely going to change soon as zip lines and rock climbing are being set up at the site to bring wealth into the local community.
Climbing up and down the wide stone steps we stumbled (and by stumbled I mean the professor gleefully pointed out) a burial site. An exposed burial site.
Our final stop for the afternoon was a rural village. My favorite part was stepping inside a cuy farm. Granted, all of the little guys will likely end becoming food, but they’re super cute in the mean time!
The way of life is very different in the village than how we’ve been living in Cusco, which is drastically different than our lives in America.
The woman whose home we visited told us about her son, who is ten: he has to walk over an hour to school and an hour home every single day because the village only has a primary school. The woman reminded our professor that her son had asked for a bicycle.
Later, our professor explained that he’s going to set up a collection box in our school in order to buy the boy a bike. Our hope is to raise enough money that when our professor takes his fall class to the village he can give the boy a bike as a Christmas present.
I hadn’t thought much about my lasting impact here in Peru, but while visiting the village and even spending time with my host siblings, I’m beginning to realize that my time here in Peru has meaning beyond progressing my Spanish speaking abilities and climbing Machupichu.
Walking through the dense forestry, my thoughts drifted to my childhood spent wandering around the jungle exhibit at the Henry Dorley Zoo. The real thing puts one of the top exhibits at the best zoo in the world to shame.
Not that I don’t still love the Henry Dorley Zoo, because I do and always will. #NebraskanForLife
It just made me stop and think how far I’ve come, literally and figuratively, from being a small town girl to an experienced young woman who has seen parts of the world that were once mere dreams.
It makes me stop and think about how proud of me my family is and how proud of me my family who watches over me would be too.