Thursday we woke up for a nice morning run and then continued on with service learning. We took tests to figure out which type of conflict style we most commonly use, and found that most of us are in the ‘discussion’ style. It was interesting to see how different cultures are often associated with different conflict styles and how this can lead to even more conflict and misunderstandings if we aren’t aware. For lunch, some of the group went to Ulrike’s, a fancy restaurant and coffee shop where we had the best carrot cake of our lives. The afternoon, we started going over project options, which was pretty exciting to finally start figuring out what we may be doing next week! Some of them include teaching English, volunteering at an animal sanctuary, and hosting a 5K and field day with local children. In the evening, we had a yoga session taught by Sarah while the chefs Isabel and Nicolette cooked up some delicious pasta and veggies, along with our newly founded staple of fruit salad with lime and ginger (HIGHLY recommended). Scott decided to push the boundaries of food science once again and create a loaf-guacamole sandwich, a tomato sauce-covered piece of bread, and a pasta-guacamole mixture. We were only slightly terrified. To complement our intended movie night, we attempted to grab some popcorn, but we ended up returning with loaf, various chocolate bars, and potato chips- which chef Scott converted to salt and vinegar chips. We enjoyed watching the movie ‘Emperor’s New Groove’, which supposedly takes place in Peru (but we find this fact highly questionable).

Friday started off a bit early with some hill sprints in Taray, the next town over. Although we’ve almost been here for two weeks, the hills did not fail to remind us of just how high the altitude is here in the Sacred Valley. We spent the morning taking care of our intern roles and beginning to promote our volunteering and events coming up in the next week. One exciting thing is that we get the chance to reboot the STRIVE Center, which teaches English and PE after school to kids. Keeping this in mind, Scott, Sarah, and Matt gave us a crash course on teaching well and dealing with classes in an educational setting. Starting next week, we will be planning English lessons and various PE games for the kids here.
Saturday was spent with an early wake-up and shakeout run, followed by a scenic van ride to the hot springs. The views were beautiful and the llamas were the highlight of the ride. Along the way, we also stopped at some pre-Incan ruins and got to overlook the snowcapped mountains. The trip was made even better by our van ride music and riddles. Once at the hot springs, we relaxed for a couple of hours alternating between the scalding and super scalding baths (which we very much enjoyed). Overall, the hot springs felt amazing after a good week of training. Once home, we headed to Ulrike’s again for a delicious dinner and some highly anticipated lava cakes. It’s been a great week and we’re looking forward to starting service next week!