|Well we're finally starting to settle into our Peruvian lifestyle. Last week both of us spent our mornings up at the school with the kids, getting to know them and doing art projects with them. They're really sweet kids who don't get as much attention as they need, so it's nice just to be able to hang out with them and give them some much needed TLC. This week Kate started at the geriatric clinic, which has been good. A bit slow since they're just reopening after vacation, but the staff and the patients are all very nice. She's been able to help out a bunch in the very modern-feeling physical therapy area, assisting the therapist with the treatments. It's actually been weird to be apart for much of the day since we've spent pretty much all our time together for 8 months! But it's been nice to each be able to concentrate on our own things.
Our home life is pretty good as well. It's been an adjustment getting used to the eating patterns here, as they eat only bread for breakfast and dinner!! Lunch is a huge meal but isn't enough to last until lunch the next day! So we've figured out how to supplement with snacks and our hosts also seem to be getting the memo that we're hungry a lot so they're feeding us a little more - finally! We also started our Spanish classes with an English teacher who doesn't speak all that much English - welcome to Peru. We're hoping the lessons will get better but anything will help. Raime's nonexistant-a-week-ago Spanish has improved a lot. He's understanding things and can even speak!
Last weekend we bought our 'Boleto Turisticos' which give us access to most of the touristy sites in and aruond Cusco. On Saturday we walked around the city and visited some of the 'museums' which we realized is sort of a loose term down here! The 'Popular Art' museum was filled with scary dolls. But we did find some cool old photos of the city, many of which honestly looked as if they could have been taken yesterday. The most interesting were the ones taken after the 1950 earthquake where many of the colonial buildings are leveled but the Inca structures are still standing as they have been since the 12th century. At one of the Incan sites in town we found that if you close your eyes and run your hand over the wall, you can't tell where one block begins and another ends. Incredible. On Sunday we took a tour of the 'Sacred Valley,' the area surrounding the city. It was really fun. The weather was beautiful and the landscape is amazing. We visited 3 ancient ruins. It was really cool to walk around these amazing structures which are still more or less intact after 8 or 9 centuries! Our guide told us a lot about the history of the civilization. This weekend we're signed up for some more ruins and some more history!