Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Getting into the groove of things!

Things are getting very easy for us here, we almost feel like locals. WE can get around town easily, my Spanish is getting much better, Jay can say a few things here and there. Last week was full of class, not too much to report there. WE have been studying grammar, oh wow, my English teachers sure did leave out a lot. We are experts on grammar now! (lie and lay, those are completely different) The word get has 14 different meaning, all of this is very hard for someone who is trying to learn English and we take it all for granted.
This weekend was a fun, relaxing weekend. On Saturday we hiked up to the ruins above Cusco called Sacayhuman, actaully pronounced Sexy Woman, it doesn't mean that though. These are Inca ruins, and for you do get an idea of of how old these, all of these ruins were built in the early 13th century, WOW!!!! It was a very hard hike up, I would say we hikled a total of 10 miles on Saturday, up and down a mountain that is 12,000 feet up. Going down is almost as hard as going up. We took an empanada picnic, bread stuffed with queso (cheese) or carne (meet and onions) THey have become one of our favorite things to eat. At Sacayhuman there are rock slides that were made during the Incas. These are not a tourist attraction, but are super fun to slide down and actually fairly fast for rock.
Sunday we planned on going to a soccer game but that didn't work out as planned, they were actually playing in Lima, unfortunately. We had a relaxing day as well. We bought bootleg DVD's for 4 soles which equals about $1.20. All of these movies are still in the movie theatres in the States, such as Bourne Supremacy and the 5th Harry Potter. So if you would like a movie, I think we can afford it.
Yesterday Jay and I taught out first English lesson for 1 hour. It was a little nerve racking but we both did very well. It is much different than teaching any other class, I actaully came out with a smile. The purpose of an ESL class (English as a Second Language) is to have the students talk as much as possible and you hardly talk at all.
We are going to Macchu Picchu this weekend and we are very excited. Tomorrow night we have party/fundraiser for the earthquake victims, which should be really fun, Free drinks for an hour!
Well we really feel comfortable here but we are still on the hunt for a job after this, wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Sacred Valley and the world of teaching English!!!

On Sunday Jay and I went on the Sacred Valley tour, which was an all day event. We first went outside of Cusco to a Large market called Pisaq which was great, We bought somke great things. The picture in the previous post of the children and the Alpaca is a very common sight. They pose for pictures and you give them 1 sole, which is about 30 cents. They are very hard to resist, expecially if they are holding a baby goat. We then had a fabulous buffet lunch, where we had free Pisco Sours (becoming one of our favorite drinks) it is an alcoholic drink with brandy, Pisco, cinnamon, and egg whites. Sort of tast like a margarita! We then saw some great Inca Ruines and climbed to about 13, 500 feet. We went up about 10 stairs and our hearts were beating hard and we were gasping for breath. It really makes you feel out of shape. Cusco is about 11,000 feet, so you can have a better understanding. The tour was great, very well worth it.
We found out that under our school at Maximo Nivel, there is a brothel, which at about 8 pm you can smell the incense coming up the stairs and you may see some bleach blond Peruvians walking in from the street.
Saturday Jay and I took salsa lessons and wow is that hard. We actually got really good. THe teacher was impressed with us and he said he will have us dancing like locals by the end. So maybe I am hopeful to be a decent dancer.
Yesterday during class, Jay and I did our first mini-lesson in front of 8 non English speaking Peruvians. The lessons were only 25 minutes which made it really hard. But I really think Jay and I did really well. He taught them about table football (the game kids play when they are bored in class) and I taught them about genres of music.
Well we have another day of class, much more adventures to come!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Finally some pictures!

Here are some pictures of the city, some of Jay and I on our tour of the Sacred Valley, which was incredible. I also have some pictures of some locals. Here is just a preview.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Surviving the Earthquake!!

well we have had a pretty eventful past couple of days. Class has started which is ver intense and a lot of work, but we really like it. We had a tour of the city of Cusco on Wednesday which was great, we were able to go and the the Sand Temple and some of the Inca ruines above the city. After our tour which ended about 6 we were in the PLaza de Armas (the main square of town) waiting on some friends for dinner. We were walking around to the shope and at about 6:45 pm there was a little bit of chaos, we were standing by the cathederal and noticed the doors shaking and the lights shaking, everyone was standing under the door way. WE finally realized that it was an earthquake. We didn't feel it as much as Lima, but it was a 7.9 which is very very strong, and there were a lot of bad aftershocks. People in Lima are still sleeping in the streets because they are afraid of another one. There are over 500 dead in Peru.
ON a lighter note we have already observed 2 English classes so we are getting right into our homework and work. I feel like we are back in college, but now we pay a lot more attention.
We have arranged to go on a tour this Sunday to the Sacred Valley, which should be great. Also on Sept 1 and 2nd we are going to go to Machu Picchu, and then after our class is over Jay and I are going to trek 5 days and 4 nights to Choguequirao, a much smaller version of Machu Picchu where we might not see any tourists at all, it is not as popular yet because they are not done exgavating but it will be just as big in a few year as Machu PIcchu. ON the INca Trail and Machu PIcchu there are about 500 to 700 people a day, very crowded. We are extremly excited, we haven't eaten anything too weird in the past couple of day but I will be sure to let you know if Jay does something thats worth letting everyone know. WE are doing very well and have made lots of friends, THings are great!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pictures take a long time to upload, but hopefully I will find an easier way. We just had our first day of class and it was really good. OUr teacher, Mark, is great, we are going to learn a lot. The reswt of the afternoon we are going onj a city tour.

Experts of Cusco

We have been here now for 4 days and we already feel like experts, things are great. We actaully start our class today, finally and have a city tour so therefor our expertise of this ancient city will improve after today....We walk approximately 4 to 8 miles a day on average, but then we eat really good for extremely cheap. Yesterday we ate at a place (very local place) Jay got Lamb that cost about $3 which would of cost about $30 in the states, but let me tell you he was def about to order something else until I pulled out my food dictionary and found out what Jay was trying to order called ubre was actaully cow utters, I don´t think he wanted that I should of told him afterwards and let him eat the whole thing, we had a great laugh over that. Yesterday we experienced the local market by our apartment which was fabulous. Goat head (sorry mom), meat hanging everywhere, chickens, and this is all in an outdoor market. But we bought some wonderful things and had a great meal that Jay of course cooked. Things are going very well and we practice our Spanish every day, so hopefully we can come back somewhat bilingual and Jay will hopefully know a few words, haha. We try and post pictures later on this afternoon, hopefully it will work, miss you all, hasta luego (see you later) -Allie and Jay

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Our Cuzco adventure begins

Allie and I made it to Cuzco very smoothly. Our private apartment is much better than we expected. The apartment is attached to a family house with volunteers. If we wanted we could get all of our meals there for free and there is also a maid that will wash our clothes... for 5 nuevo sol , which exchanges to 2 dollars. We already have met some really cool people that are volunteering here. The school has salsa lessons every Saturday night, plus there is a salsa club down the street that has lessons every night, so watch out. There was also a part at the school for the TEFL program that was before us, we were able to attend and had free food and drinks! The food is so good here, yesterday for lunch we had chicken and potato soup. The chicken that was in the soup was feet, heart, and I think neck... but we were not sure, it was very good! We have just been exploring the city which is amazing and beautiful.