This week has been WICKED!! We started it off with a 7 1/2 hour hike to Patabamba, where we would stay with a local family, teach English to kids, and build guinea pig pens. The hike was certainly something. 5 of us hiked with Kaitlyn, while the rest of us drove with JP. I endured the hike. It was mainly on the sides of mountains (safely!!). It was absolutely stunning. We stopped at a lagoon to eat a nice lunch. Then we hiked the remaining 4 hours. We had horses to carry our backpacks, but at one point they disappeared! We thought they ran away, but they just beat us there. After the 7 hours of no civilization besides us, we finally spotted JP, which then made Jesse and I sprint and hug him. We were super happy to finally be there. The rest who weren’t feeling well rested up and were there waiting for us. We had a wonderful dinner and headed to bed. The next morning we got up and built guinea pig pens so locals could raise and sell them. It is a great way for women to make an income!
Thursday started our teaching careers! Groups of us taught English to different ages. At first we all felt a little stressed, but as the time went on we relaxed. Carson and I were with Seabass and 6th graders. They were very energetic but full of love and enthusiasm. We taught them about friends and family. Then we had time to play with them.
Friday was the second and last day of teaching. We taught about the Calendar and Birthdays. At the end, there was a piñata!! The kids LOVED IT. We all really enjoyed working with the kids and hope we could teach them something.
On Saturday we continued to build guinea pig pens. In the evening, we had our first annual ARCC Lima Lamas talent show!! Talents included: Singing, dancing, coin tricks, and paper bow tie lessons done by JP. It was such a blast.
Today (Sunday) we had a culture day. The family dressed us in traditional clothing. We walked to a vista point where we learned some history of Patabamba. Then we helped pick some herbs that are used for dyeing yarn and clothes. Once we returned, we helped prepare a traditional meal. It is made over a fire, then covered in a cloth bag, then grass, and dirt. It is a way of burial. It consisted of Guinea Pig, Lamb, Potatoes (that are native to here!) and vegetables. It was yummy. Then we learned about how the women weave and make artisanal crafts. It was a very eye-opening day. We want to that the families in Patabamba for allowing us into their community and showing us their culture!