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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cusco and the land of the tourists

Hola,
He estado en Cusco por siete dias! Tengo clases de espanol aqui por dos semanas. Es un ciudad muy bonita pero hay mucha touristas aqui.

Anyways... enough with the spanish, that was just to show that my Spanish is improving! After not having practiced spanish at all for three years, it has been refreshing that it´s coming back to me here. I feel confident that I can communicate nearly any idea I have in Spanish, often with incorrect grammar, but communicating none the less! I am practicing all the time with my family, people on the streets, taxi drivers etc.

So yes, Cusco. I have been here for 7 days now. At first it was a big change coming from traveling to staying in one place for 17 days. I must admit when I first arrived here I wanted to leave as soon as possible. My first host family was pretty far from the plaza, and I really need to be around lots of people and events (like I had been for the first two weeks in Peru). It was way to tranquil at first, so I am now living with a new family. They are located really close to the plaza, and they have crazy amounts of energy. Each morning my host mom, Estela, comes bursting into my bedroom with a glass of juice, telling me ¨time to get up,¨(though she says it in Spanish). Besides Estela, I also have a host brother, Salvador, who is 13 and a host dad Fernando. They are really lovely people.

So my schedule here in Cusco, is Spanish classes from 8am-12pm and then back home for lunch, and then spending the rest of the day wandering around Cusco. Cusco is a VERY touristy city. It is the most expensive city in Peru that I have been in yet. And it makes sense because tourism is their main industry and I´m here during the busyiest week of the year. There are tons of small shops, I would compare the atmosphere to State Street in Madison, multiplied times 100. There is a very artsy neighborhood called ¨San Blas¨which I hope to stay in for a few days after my host stay which ends on the 29th.

Traveling ¨alone¨was also a bit of an adjustment for me. I much prefer to travel with someone. But David is still in Cusco volunteering. But I have made new friends in language school and usually hang out with them (all are girls except for one). So far we´ve gone to a local fair to hear ¨Grupo 5¨(the most popular Cumbia band in Peru), gone out for coffee several times, visited local cafes and tomorrow hopefully will visit some nearby Inca ruins.

My friend from college, Herly, is also home in Cusco visiting his family. Today we went to Chinchero to see some Inca ruins. It was awesome to get to go with a local! There was far less ¨ripping off the gringo¨when I´m with a local.

More to come! TELL ME! what are you up to this summer?

1 comment:

Diane said...

Hey Kata, Catalina Carla~
Thanks for your updates. I can almost picture what youre doing and seeing. :) traveling traveling. speaking of which: i leave in 15 days. ahhh! Before that however, I'm moving apts. say goodbye to 'the britney', I'm moving 10 min down the road. and right now I have a crazy room mate in my one bedroom apt who invited her mom to stay for the next 3 nights. what?!?! anyway this weekend i'm moving to a 2 bedroom place. I hope you can stop by to visit on one of your galavantings through the state!