Cusco - moved into Homestay
Posted at 0:51:8, 27/9/2004
Friday 25th September 2004, 1:20pm, Marina's house, Cusco
Yesterday passed in a bit of a daze as we were both knackered from the bus journey. We went to the Cusco South America Explorers clubhouse, again a great place to hang out and lots of useful information. It was there that we found out that the most recommended place to do a Spanish course in Cusco is the non-profit Amigos Spanish School
- any money made goes into teaching English to local children.
We signed up for 5 days of lessons and a week-long homestay with a Peruvian Family. This morning we were picked up from the school by Marina, our hostess for the week. Outside the house is grey concrete, but inside it is three floors of posh wooden floors and lovely decoration.
Cusco is a strange mix of touristy and traditional - several internet cafes on every street with colourfully dressed local women carrying huge sacks on their backs. It feel fairly safe but this is tempered by all the pickpocketing and robbery stories from some tourists, almost certainly in the minority.
Time for our first meal with Marina now :-)
Sunday 26th September 2004, 5:15pm, Marina's house, Cusco
Last night we had our first Peruvian night out. Today we had a massive feast out in the country!
It turns out that there were a couple of other students staying with Marina while they learnt Spanish. Melanie is a Canadian girl who came out with us last night but who is now heading for Bolivia. Marcus has duel American and Israeli citizenship and is on a three week holiday in Cusco, he's been here a week so far.
Last night, Melanie and Marcus took us out on the town. We met a few other people from their school (Excel rather than Amigos where Lorna and I start tomorrow), went to a few bars and danced the night away in a club filled mostly with local Peruvians. Some quaility '90s cheesey music!
Today Marina took Lorna, Marcus, Sharon (an Australian girl also at Excel school), Ofelia (the housekeeper who is also at college), Marina's mother and I to a restaurant in the country. I ordered the "sheep" and then we played a game where you try and throw brass coins into a brass frog's mouth, there are also holes that you get point for is you miss the frog (which we did every time!).
When my "sheep" arrived it turned out to be a whole sheep's leg, which provided a considerable challenge even to my carnivorous stomach! A very slow and gentle walk back to the main road to get a crowded minibus back to town completed the afternoon.