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Archive for September, 2009

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Down On The Farm

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

We were woke up in the morning by a phone call saying that the truck was leaving earlier than expected. After speed dressing and running down to the street we manged to find a car to take us to the truck as we didn’t know exactly where it was. The back of the truck was overflowing with people and supplies when we got there. They were all going to various remote settlements. We managed to find a small spot to squeeze into near the rear of the truck. I managed to arrange it so I was sitting up on my sleeping bag so I could see out but my feet were tangled in with at least three other peoples and girl who seemed to sit right on top of the tangle. We spent about three hours or so in the truck as it climbed higher into the Andes. The road was dirt and at times narrow. The drive topped at around 15,000 ft so the wind was cold. [read on]

Last Days of the Tour

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

I joined Justin to go volunteer at a school out in the countryside near Cusco. After taking a share taxi, then a tuk tuk (motorcycle pulling a cart basically. I don’t know what they are called in South America), and walking through some fields, we arrived at the schoolhouse. The school had about 25 kids attending it. The ages ranged from 7 or so and younger. When we arrived, it was recess. The lone teacher was outside with the kids who were running around the yard screaming and playing with various dogs and chickens. We immediately joined in. It always amazes me how open to the public schools are in the developing world. No one bats an eye when strange foreigners come walking in from a field and start playing with the kids. In the US the schools are like prisons. I believe the teacher may have known Justin though. We spent sometime playing soccer, being used as mules, and for a while I was a train conductor. They loved having their pictures taken and looking at them on the camera screen. When recess was over, the lone teacher informed us that the other teacher wasn’t coming back for the day and basically left us with a room full of kids to teach while she went back to her classroom. They had been working on writing their vowels so we spent some time helping them with that. Every fifteen minutes or so we had to stop and let the kids get up and dance and sing or they would lose focus. In the afternoon when the school let out, we had to walk a long ways down the road before a car passed that could pick us up. Justin, the teacher, myself and two kids from the class got in the car and rode to the bus stop which was quite a ways away. The two kids who were with us must have been only six or seven and they sometimes walked a few hours each day by themselves to get to and from school. [read on]

The Inca Trail

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
The drop off point for the Inca Trail was in a small village next to a river. The parking lot was full of porters preparing the gear for the four day hike. The 11 of us hiking in my group ... [Continue reading this entry]

Cusco – Capital of the Incan Empire

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
The night bus to Cusco was identical to the one I had taken to get to Arequipa. This time though I actually did manage a few hours of sleep as I was still very worn out from the mountain climb. ... [Continue reading this entry]


Monday, September 14th, 2009
The night bus from Nazca to Arequipa was one of the more luxurious that I had been on. The seats reclined way back, and you had lots of leg and lumbar support. Despite this I still couldn't sleep. As I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lima and Nazca

Friday, September 4th, 2009

The flight from Baton Rouge to Atlanta took off nearly 30 minutes late due to thunderstorms that kept cropping up around the airport.  We managed to take off between storms as one could be seen rapidly approaching ... [Continue reading this entry]