Hello again! It has been awhile.
I’m currently hanging out in Cusco Peru, studying Spanish for modern language credit. I’ll be here until the beginning of May and then I’ll hit up Chile and Bolivia before I catch a flight back home at the end of May. I’m super stoked to be here- everything is so colorful and alive and wonderful!!! But I thought I’d update everyone on my first week (ish) because. You guys. It has been a journey.
So I arrived a little over a week ago after traveling TWENTY SEVEN HOURS and dying a little bit inside. We flew from KCI > Houston > Mexico City > Lima > Cusco. We had doable layovers at every airport except Lima. We were there from 10 pm to 4 am which would be fine except there was nowhere to sleep or even sit and we had all of our luggage with us (2 big suitcases, 2 hiking backpacks, and carry ons). Everyone lined up against the walls of the airport to sleep on the floor, and when we eventually found a free wall spot, we ended up getting yelled at by an airport employee and had to move. It was the longest layover of our lives. I guess I should also note that when I say we, I am referring to my friend from college who is studying abroad with me.
Anyway, one thing I will say that the Mexico City and Lima airports are like really confusing to navigate. We had to lug our baggage around in all sorts of directions because we kept getting pointed in the wrong direction and the airport signs were super misleading so DISCLAIMER: If you ever find yourself trying to get a connecting flight from these airports, prepare to be frustrated. (Either that, or maybe we were just to tired from our travels to think straight. Not sure we’ll ever know.)
But yeah, after our long layover, crying baby on our Lima flight, and an airport scam in Cusco, we finally made it. I think the first thing we noticed was that it was chillier than we expected. The altitude is around 11,000 ft, so even though it’s South America and right next to the equator, it always feels like fall weather here WHICH consequently is my favorite month so no complaints.
Anyway, throughout all the trials, I have to say that it all turned out to be worth it. I’m having such a bomb time here and time is already flying by so fast with how many activities we have through our school and of course- classes.
So yeah! Peru is great but there are some things that just completely caught me off guard and I just wanted to note a couple of quirky Peru things that I’ve learned about since I’ve been here because there has been:
- You usually have to pay to pet the alpacas. It’s a form of income for a lot of local families. 😦
- A lot of times you have to grab your toilet paper before you enter the stall because there is none inside. It’s a way of creating less waste.
- The street dogs are really friendly compared to Central America. Except at night when they form packs of like 20, then they are kind of scary.
- Tortillas are not really a big thing here. Staple foods have mostly been rice, meat, beans, and bread.
- And….NO ONE WEARS SANDALS. Or shorts really outside because of the altitude it’s easy to catch a cold so everyone usually covers up, even in the house they never go barefoot or without socks.
Of course I’m sure some of these things might be specific to Cusco or maybe just my host family, but those have been my inner shocks so far. Anyway, a lot has happened since the first week, and I have loads more photos but that will have to wait until I have enough time to upload them with an iffy wifi connection.
I’m not sure how to rearrange these pictures into the right order so they are a little all over the place but nonetheless-