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Phalex gone wild

Cuzco dwellers

PERU | Tuesday, 1 September 2009 | Views [1121] | Comments [7]

Hello all, Alex again. So its been nearly 2 weeks since I last blogged, but we´ve been in Cuzco the whole time so we haven´t done thaaatt much...

Last week, we started our volunteering/spanish regime - out to our rural school from 9-12, home for lunch, then out again for spanish from 4-6. We had a lovely male teacher and for us it was mostly revision of what we´d learnt in Sydney, but both of us are feeling much more competent after a bit of review and some new skills. Volunteering was fun but hard work - our teachers kept going awol on us (leaving each one of us to deal with 30 kids whose language we don´t really speak) and it turns out its really hard to teach anything, let alone another language, to children who can´t read or write.

However on Friday of last week, we arrived at school to find all the kids in the playground with kites - it was outdoors day or something, so we all trekked about 10 mins to a nearby field across a valley and flew kites and played soccer for 2 hours. it was reaaaallly nice and its beautiful scenery up there. There were cows, pigs and donkeys too! so that was fun.

Nearly forgot - on Thursday night of last last week, we went to a Cienciano vs Liverpool football match at the big local stadium. Cienciano is basically the Peruvian team minus a few, and Liverpool is a team from Uruguay. Needless to say that was awesome fun being in the Latino football fever - both our host parents came too and it was heaps of fun. Phil even bought a Cienciano beanie. And we won too! Take that uruguay.

On Saturday of last weekend, phil and I ventured out for a bout of cuzco shopping, buying peruvian knitted goods eg gloves and a blanket and a beanie for phil and happy pants for me. all good fun. in the afternoon we chilled out at maximo, the language and volunteering centre, and just saw some friends and stuff. That night though when we got home, disaster struck and I started spewing and pooing like EVERYWHERE. it was disgusting, and long story short we ended up spending the next two nights in hospital, me on a drip cause I got a parasite in my belleh. Not fun, but I stopped uncontrollably exploding pretty much as soon as I started my medication. Phil has confirmed his status as best boyfriend, possibly one of the best people in the world, after cleaning up my vomit and putting my socks on and generally looking after me extremely extremely well. Good job Marilyn and Bruce :)

So we got to go home on Monday afternoon and continued to spend time in bed, but at least I could eat. On Tuesday we took the morning off and continued relaxing (we found a nice park near our house) before recommencing Spanish in the afternoon. Went back to volunteering on Wed to more hard work and confusion; since then, we have actually decided to change projects and this afternoon we start at a community centre where we´ll always have someone with us, and we´ll teach english 3 days a week and just generally help out with kids homework and stuff on the other days. Should be really good, and not quite so daunting.

On Thursday night we farewelled one of our housemates who has been here the longest and was going to Bolivia to start the tour Phil and I are going to do in a few months. She was lovely and it was sad to see her go! Us and one of the remaining girls decided to go to trivia at a gringo cafe in town to cheer ourselves up, and phil and i bought delicious brownies, yum. we came last but it was lots of fun! an organisation called Bruce Peru runs trivia nights 3 nights a week in different tourist haunts and raise money to go towards education centres for really impoverished peruvian kids... so thats good. and we will definately be going again!

After our last day working at the school, and our last lesson with our old spanish teacher Jorge on Friday, we were treated to a super fun house party! Another 2 volunteers left over the weekend, so it was partly a farewell for them, and also the sister one of the said volunteers was in town, so she came over for dinner. It was one of the best parties I´ve ever been too! We all helped out with preparation - Phil juiced limes for the Pisco Sours (peruvian national cocktail, lime juice, sugar, egg white and pisco I think), our friend Danielle de-ended bean sprouts and I folded up wontons. Maria Luisa made a delicious long soup, to be followed by super tasty fried rice and a chicken stir fry with noodles, chinese buffet style. It was awesome! For dessert we had the delicious cocktails followed by dancing - Maria Luisa and Eduardo moved the furniture away in the living room and we got the party started on the living room dancefloor. so much fun! we were dancing to traditional peruvian and bolivian music, plus some hilarious perupop and modern music that Maria Luisa´s son had burnt them. too funny - we taught eduardo and Michael, our oldest volunteer at 66, how to dance like gangsters. Hilarious, and a video may follow in the near future!

On saturday, Phil and I ventured out to see inca ruins about half an hour from cuzco. They were obviously very cool and the bushland in the andes is soooo beautiful. we saw 3 different sites, walking and bussing between, before we headed back to town cause it was getting cold. We returned to the aforementioned trivia cafe for snacks, including yuka chips - yuka is kind of like purple sweet potato, very nutty, and makes tasty chips! Then we just hung out at home for dinner, and had a quiet day on Sunday.

Today, we had our first spanish lesson with our new teacher - we had to change time slots - and it was great and much more fast paced than previously. Im sure we will learn stacks. Now we´re heading home for lunch, then we will go out to our new placement this afternoon - wish us luck! Will let you know how it all goes in the next volume.

Lots of love to everyone, we miss you all and our pets and milo very much. xxxxx!

Tags: cafe, ruins, shopping, sick, trivia, volunteering




Wow Alex - it all sounds wonderful!! You are making our lives here look very boring!! What a great time for you both - minus the hospital visit of course. Tell Phil he sure is the world's greatest boyfriend - he was probably so worried about you. Teaching English 3 days a week sounds like a much better idea - gives you time to enjoy your surroundings. Look forward to your next blog. Take care you two and lots of love,

  Sandra Peters Sep 1, 2009 8:05 AM


Brilliant post again Alex & Phil - good luck both wirh the community centre work - sounds ultimately much more rewarding then battling untutored and unaided with basic literacy problems! Have lots more fun with the Cuzco antiquities Pass including dealing with llamaa & alpacas..all love from us and fbp xxxxx
ps btw what is in Pisco?

  clairejim Sep 1, 2009 11:08 PM


sooo jealous about that sweet potato chip thing, it sounds so deliciouso.
sorry you were sick, alex!

  sam Sep 3, 2009 12:22 PM


Maria Luisa & Eduardo sound like the best hosts - you are very lucky. Good to hear from you again.

  Marilyn Sep 3, 2009 1:46 PM


I'm so glad that you're feeling better alex, thats one scary sounding parasite.

So jealous about the ruins though, sounds amazingly pretty. I'm glad you're enjoying Cuzco so much it sounds like a party!

  Shoe Sep 5, 2009 11:29 AM


I liked the sound of you guys doing the perupop!

  auntysal Sep 5, 2009 5:42 PM


Happy Birthday Alex. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Love from Heather and George xxxx

  Heather Hrouda Sep 30, 2009 7:18 PM

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