By: Colin Tauck,`15 and Rachel Garofoli,`15
Our first official day in Peru was a great one that really got us excited about the rest of our trip. The feeling of fellowship we had with the rest of the group in the morning activities will really help with our upcoming experiences of the trip. One activity was the “Why you are here?” activity that really made us reflect about why we are on this trip and establish our aspirations for the rest of the trip. However, before we did this activity we got to go on a hike around a local community deeper in the valley.
A general feeling of amazement carried through the entire excursion from the people living in the community to the general layout of the land. Seeing the costumes in the Pentecostal ceremonies was incredible (especially because all the people participating in the festival make their own costumes). There were guinea pig men and chickens, which was very humorous. However the most ironic thing about the entire celebration was the fact that they are making fun of the Spanish during a Catholic celebration because Catholicism in this country came from the Spanish. It is a challenge to wrap our minds around all this when we look up to see the mysterious Incan ruins in the mountains. One might see pictures of these mountains or ruins and think that they are beautiful however you get this unutterable feeling when you actually see these with your own eyes. The luscious green mountains containing Incan ruins that are still here after thousands of years are amazing.
So far everyone on the trip seems to be in good spirits. We have enjoyed many new foods and new aspects of the Peruvian culture. One of the first Peruvian delicacies we have discovered is coca tea or mate de coca. Coca is very common here in Perú and everyone is our group really seems to enjoy this unusual tea. Today we also tried various dishes and we found that we really love the soups. So far this trip has been really enjoyable and I can tell that it will get even better because we have an amazing group of people who are willing to try new things and immerse themselves into the culture.
Tomorrow we embark on the second leg of our journey. We’ll go to Piscacucho to meet our host families and begin our service project. Many of us have concerns of whether or not out families will like us or whether we will like the food or not. However I believe that everyone will be happy once they arrive and that their troubles will fade away. We were told that our families were very excited to meet us, which made us very excited. We can’t wait to see what other amazing things wait for us on the rest of the trip.