20 November 2011

Cusco, Peru: Goodbye, Dad and Hello, Family

Yesterday, on Dad's last day in Cusco, we spent the morning exploring the Koricancha.  The place was the site of the most sacred place in the Inca empire, the Temple of the Sun.  When the Spainards came, the stripped the gold from the temple and tore down the roof, then built a church on top of the original Inca foundations.  They even kept some of the rooms intact, and used them for meeting rooms.  One of the most interesting things about this place is that in 1950, there was a big earthquake in Cusco, and the church was nearly destroyed...but the Inca ruins remained completely intact.  Nice engineering!  This place also has beautiful gardens, which you can see behind Dad and I.

Dad exploring one of the Inca parts of the Koricancha.

We also went to the convent of Saint Catherine, which was founded in the 1500s and is actually still in use today (there are 17 cloistered nuns who live there).  It was very interesting to see how nuns were trained and lived back in the day.

A few more errands and some lunch, and then it was time to send Dad off!  Thank you so much for coming, Dad...I had a blast!

Today, I went to church in the cathedral, and since it was the feast of Christ the King, the church was beautifully decorated.  In addition, there were hundreds of men in suits and red capes with specific crests on them at Mass.  They rather looked like tradesmen guilds, and though I'm not sure if this was the case, it was still cool to see them assembled in mass.  When I got out, there was (of course) a festival going on in Plaza de Armas, with the military marching about and the flags flying.  It was a sight!

After that, it was time to find my new family!  I got there eventually, even though the crazy streets of Cusco did mean that it took about 45 minutes of the taxi driver driving in circles and asking every person we saw if they knew where my street was.  However, the couple I am living with, Tatiana and Yuri, are incredibly nice, my room is more than adequate, as you can see above, and the rest of the house is just lovely.  There are plants everywhere, a garden and huge patio in the center of the house, and lots of balconies and chairs and places to study.  They also have a really cute little dog named Churro—she and I became fast friends.  There is one other girl from California living here and volunteering, Christine, but I haven't met her yet because she was at work all afternoon.  Also, Tatiana's food is amazing—I'm definitely going to have to hike a lot while I'm here, because it's just too good to not eat.  I'm excited to be living here for a month, and even more excited to start school and volunteering tomorrow!


grandma feldt said...

Your room looks very nice size and comfortable. Email when you can skype again. The pictures on email are great. Love ya

linda feldt said...

I forgot to reply to this blog last night. I see Dad is all choked up when at the airport. I remember crying like a baby when I left you in Italy. Thanks for sharing time with Dad Be safe Love & prayers mom