November 20, 2010

Peru: Arequipa, Flora Tristan and Colca Canyon

Wednesday night Laura and I took a Cruz del Sur night bus to Arequipa. Thursday we spent the day walking around town and signing ourselves up for Friday and Saturday activities. We have already been so much more production in Arequipa then we ever were in Cusco. Loki made us lazy.

Friday afternoon we volunteered with Traveler Not Tourist. We took the public bus to Flora Tristan to help with construction and teach English (our specialty) at a local school. The school is located right next to a gravel pit and the community is made up of the smallest rock houses with dry brown dirt every where. The first two hours at the school were spent sweeping the class rooms and doing some general cleaning. Every day the classrooms fill up with dust from the gravel pit. Sneeze. The kids arrived at 3:30pm and English class started. Since it was Friday, it was game day. The other permanent teachers pretty much sat back and let Laura and I play our English games that we learned in Vietnam. The last hour was spent outside while the girls played with chalk and the boys played soccer. An exhausting day and a day that only needed to happen once but the experience was well worth it.

{ The school }
{ The classroom }
{ Flora Tristan }
On Saturday we did a day tour of the Colca Canyon. This was the worst day Laura and I have had in South America. We spent five hours driving to Colca Canyon which we have decided is not a canyon, at least where we were. It is more like a mountain with a valley. We did see a condor which was cool for a second. We then spent a few hours driving to Chivay for lunch and then three more hours back to Arequipa. Ten hours total on a bus for a day tour... no thanks, never again. We did team up with a couple from Germany which made our complaining much more entertaining. I think if I were to do it again I would do the canyon trek, I hear that is much more fascinating.

{ Condor at Colca }
{ Lunch in Chivay with the Germans }

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