This morning we woke up and had breakfast with our loving homestay families. We then all met in the plaza and talked about how the day was going to go. We then walked to Full Moon lodge where we have been gathering for many activities. We then shared our leadership stories. We had two hours to shop and hang out with our families before Pachamanca. It is a ceremony where rocks, heated for hours by fire, are used to cook steak, chicken, and veggies. We ate with our homestay families. After the meal we went home to pack and spend some more time with our hosts. We reconvened for our candle ceremony during which we shared our takeaways from the trip.
-- Beckett, Stella, Tanner
Today we all woke up and had breakfast with our homestays. Then we met at the town center at 10:00 to get on the train to Machu Picchu. The train ride was an hour and forty-five minutes. When we arrived, we got on a bus and rode it up to one of the Seven Wonders of the World! When we got there we had two tour guides who gave us an amazing tour of Machu Picchu. The views were breathtaking and it was a wonderful experience for all of us. After the tour we went to a restaurant and ate all together. Then we got on the train back to Ollantaytambo. We are all so grateful to be able to have these amazing experiences that we will never forget.
-Riley, Bliss, Oliver
Today the kids "walked together" with their homestay families. This is the World Leadership School term for spending the day immersed in the local culture. We met with the kids this afternoon to check-in and to discuss the plan for tomorrow. We will be meeting in the morning and taking the train to Machu Picchu.
The kids have been amazing and have shown complete respect for the Peruvian culture. They are enjoying the new foods and communicating in Spanish quite well.
Check-in tomorrow night - possibly early Tuesday morning -for an update on our visit to one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Our glamping continued as we woke up and ate great pancakes and hot chocolate. We packed up and walked to the Incan ruins on the mountain where we began to write our leadership stories. It rained really hard, but we persevered. We hiked on an old Inca trail and began our decent to Ollantaytambo. The hike was two hours, quite beautiful. We ate burritos for lunch and returned to our homestay. We had a free afternoon.
- Beck, Jaidyn, Ethan
Today we went to a "weaving village" and learned how to make alpaca yarn bracelets. We also learned how to color the wool with natural ingredients such as bugs. Then, we took a bus to the trail and hiked to our campsite. The hike was short and hard. We spent the night at the campsite, and all of the food prepared by the chefs was very good. We also roasted marshmallows, then went to sleep.
- Emma, Julia and Alex
This morning we finished the work in the school that we started yesterday. After we finished, we ate lunch with our homestay families. After lunch most homestay groups explored Ollantaytambo. Then we all met at the soccer field and did a leadership activity. We then split into 5 groups of 5. We proceeded to do a scavenger hunt through the village. There were 6 activities that were fun and challenging. For example, we cooked a meal, caught some guinea pigs, played local games, interviewed a local person, and learned a local dance. This improved our leadership skills because we had to work as a team to complete the challenges and navigate the town.
Tomorrow we will be going on an overnight trek and we will be out of contact until Saturday night.
We will also start posting in the Aspen Country Day School instagram account when we return. It is much faster to post photos and videos there than through the blog. We will continue to blog, but this will be an additional place to see what we are up to!
- Avery, Benton, and Carson
Today was our first day doing community service at the Ollantaytambo school. Everyone had different jobs such as building benches, doing art with kids, stucco, and windows. Each job was unique and different in its own way.
Lyzee and Maya (two of the bloggers of the day) did stucco. This means they sift dirt, mix it with dry cement, and then add water so it turned into a paste. This job was physically challenging and the dirt was very heavy. Caro, the other blogger, did work on benches. We dug dirt to make the seating area cleaner and then we sanded the table. We put finish in the table in the afternoon.
In art we did puzzles and drawings with the kids. In windows we sanded and polished the windows to put in the cafeteria. We all had a good day at the Manco Inca school. We played with the kids, did our work, and most importantly we had fun. We also met our homestay families and had lunch with them. Many of us had very good first impressions and we all liked them.
Thank you for reading and tune in tomorrow for the next blog of the day!
- Caro, Lyzee, and Maya
Today we hiked up to the Temple del Sol and witnessed the ruins of the Inca. We saw how the Incas indicated the new seasons. The food in Ollantaytambo is really good and tasty. We have tea after the meal. The walls in the temple were constructed in unique ways like tetris. What we also thought was appealing is how the stones and rocks were cut; it is a great example of teamwork. After the hike we went to a Pachamama ceremony to celebrate Mother Earth.
- Zoe, Claire, and Moritz
Here in Ollantaytambo, it's all good: everyone is feeling good, acting good, and looking good! After 32 hours of travel, about 6 hours of sleep at the hostel in Lima, and zero problems, we have arrived and settled into the lodge. We're on our way into town for an early dinner, then an early bedtime. In the past few days before our arrival, the Sacred Valley had some heavy rain, so everything is green in the valley and white on the snow-capped peaks -- beautiful. Watch for more blog posts coming soon. -- Audrey