Yesterday was our first "official" day in country. We started off with 9a spanish lessons. The kids had a private lesson with Anamarie, Melanie is in an advanced intermediate class and I'm, of course, in Spanish for Dummys. After Spanish we spent a few minutes online…downloading episodes of Game of Thrones to watch after the kids go to bed (with only spanish TV and no internet, it can be a bit slow at night)!
For lunch Ana made us lentils and rice. I know it seems kind of plain, but she must have some kind of special Peruvian spices or something because it was fantastic! I can't really explain it, but everything she makes is delicious…even the simplest stuff like chicken noodle soup, chicken and rice, or spaghetti with meat sauce (meat sauce here is a piece of steak of top of spaghetti). It's all home cooked and 100% organic…almost as if Melanie died and went to heaven!
Anyway, after lunch and a brief rest we made the trek back to Maximo Nivel (about a 45 minute walk with the kids) for them to take us to our volunteer assignment. We'll be spending the afternoons at the Hogar Salome Ferro orphanage for boys, where they house about 40 boys ranging from 6 to 16. Our responsibilities basically entail spending the afternoon playing with the boys and possibly helping out with a little homework. The facility, while spartan by our standards, is actually pretty nice and all the boys seemed really happy. We were only going to have a quick tour of the place today, but within about 15 minutes an impromptu soccer game broke out with Lucas, me, 2 other volunteers and 4 of the boys, and we played until it got too dark to continue. Melanie and Sydney toured the girls orphanage and then Sydney showed the boys that she is the master of the swing set as she went higher than all of them (it wasn't even close!). The kids had a blast and Lucas was begging to come back tomorrow and stay longer!
Today is more of the same, although at some point this week we plan to take a formal walking tour of the city, and we may take a tour of the Sacred Valley this weekend. We're also planning a weekend trip to Puno & Lake Titicaca, which will likely involve an overnight bus trip which we've been told is actually quite comfortable with fully reclining seats, pillows and blankets so all the passengers can sleep.