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September 12, 2004

Buenos Dias de Cusco, Peru

íHola! Already I'm not thinking too clearly in English, but of course fumbling through the Spanish, so bear with me!

I made it to Cusco in one piece, and am getting settled in with my host family. The parents are out of town, but the grandmother (Carmen), great-grandmother (Alicia), and kids Alejandra (5) and Lui (short for Luis, 4) are great. I thought I'd be able to talk to the kids more than the adults, but they talk so fast, it's really hard to keep up! At least Carmen understands she needs to talk to me a little bit slower. Alicia can't hear very well, and sometimes we're the last two at the table and just sit there in silence and smile at each other. Last night when she headed to bed she said "Good night" really loudly, and this morning "Good morning." Very cute. But for the most part they've barely spoken English to me at all so it's certainly an immersion experience! The guy who picked me up from the airport in Lima said my Spanish was really good. Maybe he was just being nice, but it was nice to hear. There's so much I don't know, but it is pretty amazing how fast what I learned in my 1 1/2 years at City College is coming back to me.

My set up at the house is very impressive--I have the whole third floor pretty much to myself, with a little sitting area, separate bedroom, and my own bathroom. Much nicer than I expected! I've got a view of the surrounding mountains from my room. I had a stunning view of the Andes on the flight from Lima to Cusco. I've taken some pictures and would love to get them uploaded but don't really have time right now to figure out how to do it. But the internet here is fast and cheap, about 50 cents for an hour, and it's just a few blocks from my host family's house.

Having only gotten three hours of sleep in Lima on Friday night and then flying to 11,000 feet certainly wiped me out. Between naps and last night I've slept about 15 hours since I got here and I'm feeling pretty good without too much of a problem with the altitude, except feeling a little achy and getting winded and lightheaded really easily. I've been drinking lots of coca tea--two cups with every meal--it's supposed to help with the altitude and also aids with digestion, so it seems like a good thing to drink. It seems to go right through me, though, and I actually think I'm going to have to cut this short so I can get back to the house to pee!

I promise more details and more stories soon. I start Spanish classes tomorrow, so will have a chance to see what the next three weeks will be like and also see downtown, where I haven't been yet.

Posted by Amy on September 12, 2004 10:15 AM
Category: Peru

Yay! Glad you made it. Also happy to hear that you have a nice setup there. Sounds like a wonderful learning environment.

Posted by: Annie on September 13, 2004 06:28 AM

Now all you need to do is upload the pictures so we can see what a great time you are having. Grandma and Aunt Dottie say Hi. Grandma says that she got your letter.

Posted by: Uncle Bill on September 14, 2004 06:55 AM

Hey you, crazy girl. So happy to hear you made it safely. Sounds like your adventure is off to a great start!!

Posted by: Marketa on September 14, 2004 08:02 AM

We are so excited for you. Your temporary home sounds wonderful! It's ironic (and not a little amusing) that during the first leg of your "risky" adventure i.e. a woman traveling alone, you are living with the equivalent of your mother and grandmother! We approve!
Te Amos

Posted by: Su padres on September 14, 2004 08:41 AM

Sounds really cool - glad you made it safely. Can't wait to see photos but no pressure!

Posted by: claire on September 14, 2004 09:16 AM
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