Day 1

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We arrived at the Cusco airport at 6. Everyone who was unaware that Schiley didn’t make it with us was now in the loop and Regan was calling people to make sure he got here. The airport was open and freezing. We could almost see our breath. They said it was because it was so early in the morning. All of our stuff came on a crickety luggage belt. The Cusco airport was way smaller than the Lina airport and actually felt like we were in Peru. We all huddled outside for a bit waiting for what we should do next. It looked like an Indian Jones film set but in real life and all of the words were in Spanish. The ISA trip organizer came out and told us to move inside as we waited for our families to arrive at 7. It was a large open stone building so again, very cold. At 7, three host moms came. They had a sign with their students name. Eli and Ama’s host mom had a cute sign with smiley faces all over it. One by one families picked up their kids. Mihael ate a chocolate croissant that later made him sick. Madi and I were the last ones to be picked up. Marita came and got us and helped us into her car. She lost her parking ticket for a little bit but found it. We tried to talk with Marita but it was a slight struggle like a deer trying to stand up. By the end of the night I had gotten a bit more fluent. Driving around was really interesting. It reminded me of Toledo Spain but dirty.

We drove to our house which is by the main road. We drove past a bunch of dentists and doctors offices. My host dad is an old dentist. Marita backed into her house down a very steep driveway. There is a garage under the house and three stories of apartments. We are on the second floor in a modern apartment. A little kitchen, main table, tv, couches in the main room. There are three rooms off to the side. Madi, an exchange student from Minnesota, has her own room but she is leaving on Friday. Marita and her husband live in the apartment but there are always people over. When we first got home, we ate a yogurt breakfast and talked with Madi in English and Marita in Spanish. Madi has exams this week and she goes to school the same place we do (ISA). After breakfast, we went to our room and slept from 9 to 4. We woke up and Marita fed us chicken noodle alphabet soup. Very good. We aren’t supposed to eat heavy meals the first day because of altitude sickness. We also had coca tea. We told our life story or tried to our family. It gets dark very early here so by the time we finished dinner, the sun was starting to set. We asked Marita is we could walk around and explore a bit so she gave us house keys. We live right next to a park so we went and played on all of the cool see saws and twirly things. It kind of left us winded from the altitude. It is a real thing altitude sickness. It feels like the metal apron the dentist puts on you for X-rays only a lot heavier. Deep breaths are not a thing. After the park we tried to find the mall that was two blocks over but failed so we just wander to the Main Street. We found a cute pastry place to visit later and walked across the cool pedestrian bridge.

Madi and I are sharing a room

Our host Dad. He likes to sing!

Marita pouring us chicha mora

Alphabet chicken noodle soup

Limpiar los platos

I wasn’t expecting dinner but when we came home we had Chicha. morada which is a good red corn drink that I think is a mix of jimica and licorice. Her grandkids came by and listened to Katy Perry music videos on the tv. Lucina is 7 and knew all of the words. I don’t remember the little boys name but he came in with his green belt in karate. We sang along with them a bit after dinner. Marita’s brother came in for dinner also. He is from New Mexico and is visiting for a bit. He is an architect and had many tips for us around Cusco. After meeting everyone, we headed to bed. We real talked for a while and fell asleep

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