The interns are almost one week into their stay at Pisac and are doing great! Since last we talked, we created a plan for communal dinners, had our first Spanish lesson, and bought our first “loaf” from Sofi’s– a Strive favorite bread with chocolate chips that many interns describe as similar to Little Bite’s mini-chocolate chip muffins. On Thursday the 13th, we went for our first early-morning run and visited the track at Tambohuacso school; some interns ran the whole time at the track, while others took to the Pisac streets for a scenic run and finished up with strides at the track. After enjoying breakfast, purchased with our stipend for the week, we had a group discussion related to our service-learning curriculum, the goal of which is to first learn about about the culture, customs, and people of the Pisac community in order to do well-informed and positive service work. This discussion led into our large history/culture presentation project which we will present to the high school group in 5 weeks to educate them about Peru. Earlier in the day we did actividades del equipo (team activities) which involved flipping Lara, who was holding a cup of water, 360 degrees without spilling a drop. Around 4:30, Sarah led us in our first core workout which left us all sore the next morning. To close the day, we had our first communal dinner of quinoa, stir-fried veggies, beans, and Scott’s secret guac recipe cooked by the staff, followed by a very competitive game of “Heavens to Betsy”–which ended in a tie (silent feud) between Nicolette and Scott.
On Friday, after our morning run, all the interns had oatmeal for breakfast instead of going to the market – only the first of many smart budgeting choices! We spent the majority of the day working on our poster presentations (shoutout to Clem for her outstanding drawings!) and went to the market for lunch. In the afternoon, we practiced our presentations and all learned a little bit more about Peru (and our improving presentation skills!). Friday night, Grace and Dana cooked a wonderful dinner of sandwiches and potatoes (that took ages to cook in our oven that works more like an Easy-Bake), and then we watched a documentary called “Icarus” about the Russian doping scandal. It was the first time we stayed up past our 9 pm bedtime!
Today was our first free day, and in the morning, we embarked on our first long run ranging from 50-70 minutes. Mid-morning, we took a van to Calca and hiked a few (steep!) miles to a gorgeous waterfall. Along the way, we also saw ancient Incan aqueducts that are still working today; our intern Isabel, the classics major, got a kick out of the rich history. At the top, we relaxed in the sun, ate a quick lunch, and enjoyed beautiful views of the mountains. As we wrap up our first week, we are settling into our new home at Chaska, slowly acclimating to the altitude, and enjoying getting to know our fellow interns and staff!