The high schoolers had their first long run this Sunday! It was a beautiful experience to run through the Sacred Valley surrounded by mountains and the Urubamba River. Weekends are free days that the high schoolers can choose how they are spent. This weekend, they decided to take a day trip to Cusco and explore the city. They ate lunch at the San Pedro Market, toured the Chocolate museum (got a variety of free samples), and watched a soccer game. Along the way, they also visited a local weaving co-op. Meanwhile, the interns visited a weaving co-op in the town of Ccaccaccollo and purchased hand made sweaters and woven souvenirs. Monday marked another first for the high schoolers here in Peru: a service project in the town of Pampallacta. The STRIVE crew dug deep to help create a one of a kind community center. They shoveled mounds of gravel, laid cement, and worked together to move 60lbs adobe bricks to the site. Although it was a lot of hard work, the high schoolers all commented on how rewarding the project felt. Covered in dirt from head to toe, they all fell asleep on the comvi ride back to Pisac. In the afternoon, the interns had private English lessons which the high schoolers helped with. It was a big day rewarded with a delicious dinner at Ulrikes!
Tuesday started like most days here, with a wonderful morning run followed by breakfast at the market. The breakfast foods of choice have been banana pancakes, omelets, and fresh fruit and vegetable juices – delicioso! After breakfast, the group loaded onto the bus and headed to Pampallacta for day two of the three day service project. We made a lot of progress by adding a few feet to the height of the wall of a 20ft wide structure! The labor to accomplish this is incredible: our group worked together to move around 200 60lbs bricks. In the afternoon the entire crew headed up to Ccaccaccollo to help teach women and children English. The day ended with Isabel’s STRIVE talk. Wednesday was the high schoolers last day helping up at Pampallacta. After coming back down from the community the high schoolers had lunch at the market and some helped the interns with their private lessons. The afternoon was the first opportunity for the high schoolers to do a track workout at a local school. For dinner the group headed to a fancy pizza restaurant to celebrate their service work over the past few days.