Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Getting to know Cuzco

Hi all, no new photos yet, but I´ll give a quick update. We arrived in Cuzco early on Sunday morning after a sleepless night on the bus due to the high altitude of the pass we were crossing (although it was probably otherwise the most comfortable and least stinky bus ride yet). Our host "family" is actually the director of the spanish school and she has a few extra guest rooms, so always seems to have guests in her house. Kate and I are living there with Sarah from England who´s a language teacher. Although it´s not quite the family experience that we had in Bolivia, Maike, our host mother, has been a really great host. We have already spent a lot of time together at meals and in the evenings, and she speaks Spanish very patiently with us, so we´re getting a lot of practice outside of school. With patient speakers like her, we really get the feeling that our spanish is superb--it´s only when we return to the real world of slang and fast speakers that it gets frustrating again.

School started again yesterday for us, though the first day was mostly orientation. Both of us have good classes and we´ve already learned a lot in the first two days. During our orientation yesterday, we got a tour through the city of Cuzco, which we are very excited about having almost a month to explore. Cuzco was built around the heart of the incan empire, so there is some amazing history, archeology, and architecture here. The center of the city is all in old spanish colonial style, but it was built on top of an incan city, so a lot of the stones around the city were borowed (pilfered) from the original incan buildings. There are amazing jigsaw-puzzle-like stone walls all around town that are original or rebuilt incan walls. The city is surrounded by incan ruins, which we have not yet had a chance to visit. Instead, we´ve spent our evenings exploring around town. It is touristy as we had anticipated, but it is really beautifully maintained and not over-the-top overflowing with tourist trash like Prague was. The city just has a beauty and energy about it that is hard to describe. We purposefully have gone without cameras the first few days to just enjoy and absorb the sites. We will, however, get a camera out soon and start posting pictures. But since we have so much time here, we want to take our time.

Our school also has extracurricular classes, all in spanish of course, but for fun. Tomorrow night we´re taking salsa dance lessons and we just got out of a class on how to make a pisco sour, the national alcoholic drink. It´s a very well-rounded education we are receiving. We´re thinking of all our friends and family and home and wishing everybody well! Adios!


  1. Olé! (Is that the right word?)

  2. They must be keeping you two MIGHTY busy. I've checked here every day for the past week hoping for photos. All those extracurricular classes better be as good as putting up photos so the moms can be reassured that all is well down there with you. Stay well! We miss you! (What's a pisco sour?) Adios! La cucaracha mamma.