Well, I successfully made it to Cuzco, Perú. I´m walking around in a daze, pretending that I know Spanish, while throwing in random German, French, and even Italian (I can´t get ¨scusi¨out of my head!) phrases. I start school tomorrow thankfully, so that will help! The trip here was fairly stressful--it was rough leaving L.A., and then we had a pretty rough flight from Houston to Lima. Besides the bumpiness and an unfortunate overdose of candy hearts, we landed just fine and I embarked onto foreign soil. The Lima airport in general was pretty traumatic, what with me getting interrogated in customs for filling out the forms wrong (so brilliant I know) only to discover when I was finally cleared that my backpack was not going to Cuzco without my help!! It was quite a big deal, and I ended up getting escorted by three security guards back through customs to claim my luggage. As soon as I found my pack, they deserted me, leaving me to attempt to finagle my way back through customs without any of the necessary papers. Between my rudimentary Spanish and their rudimentary English I somehow got back through!!!
I departed quite early from Lima for Cuzco, although I was not informed that we would stop in two other cities on the way, making a typical hour-long flight into four. The other ¨cities¨were shacks in the desert, and I was getting pretty nervous for Cuzco after that, but it´s much prettier!! Very green (especially since it´s rainy season, which for some reason I didn´t know) and hilly and full of monuments. It is a third world country (or maybe second?) and I´m not quite used to that. Does anybody ever get used to poverty?? I guess I hope not!
Today I rested and then was taken all over town by my host brother, whose name still eludes me. We went to the school, which is kind of sketchy in some random ladies house, but it still has a nice courtyard, and is really close to the main square. I start classes tomorrow, if my finances go through that is!! The transportation system here is really freaking me out--basically you can catch these crazy buses or get stuck in a tiny little taxi whose driver thinks you can fit anywhere! I´m pretty far from the school, which is a bummer, but my house is much nicer than it was expected...although I still haven´t asked about a shower!! I have my own little room and my own set of keys...it´s pretty nice. The food is still a question mark--my stomach has been acting up a bit, but I have no idea what we had for lunch! My host mother doesn´t speak much English, and all I know is that the soup we had was pretty gross with random squishy and chewy and crunchy things...but hey, try new things right??
I´m still pretty tired and overwhelmed--I can´t imagine that I´ll ever find my way around!! Although I made it successfully to this internet cafe a few blocks from my house...so good start! If I can push through these next few days of homesickness (sorry Mom!) I think I´ll be just fine here in Cuzco! It´s still kind of unreal that I´m in South America....as soon as I get situated I´ll be sending loads of postcards and letters!! It´s a lot colder here than I bargained for, so I´ll be investing in some warm clothes soon! I was all excited for alpaca wool until I tried to pet one of the cute little guys and got a nice solid bite!! My host brother (someday I will learn his name!) got quite a laugh out of that one...
As soon as I get settled I´ll fill you all (so many I´m sure) of what´s goin on! Hopefully I will soon be able to jump onto a bus or hail a taxi and be able to ask what I´m being fed!!! Hope everything is going well for all of you--keep in touch!! I´m dying for mail :) xoxo