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So, Thursday I ate Cuy.  Quite interesting.  For those of you who don't know, Cuy is guinea pig, and it is the favorite dish here in Cusco. 

The whole school, professors, spouses, and students, piled in several taxis, and made our way up the hillside, up dirt roads, to the edge of town, and entered this really rustic adobe building, which was completely empty.  After climbing a few stairs, we realized we WERE in the restaraunt.  The family greeted us as we passed by, and we found our way to a very long table that looked over the most amazing view
of Cuzco.  We all sat down, chatted in Spanish (although a few students aren't as proficient, so we had to chat a bit in English).  Eventually two big things of coke were brought out, and two big things of beer, and glasses were filled all around. 

Eventually, huge dishes were brought out to everyone- the cuy, with fried stuff peppers, potatoes (which come from Peru originally, did you know that?), and some other mixture of stuffed potatoe skins.

Now, cuy is not guinea pig cut up into unrecognizable pieces, oh no.  They bascially take the guinea pig, remove all the fur, cut off the head (sometimes), cut it in half, and remove some of the guts (but not the
heart), put seasonings inside, and bake or fry it.  Apparently, baked is preferred.  And then they serve it to you, and you pick it up with your hands, and dig in. 

No, it didn't taste like chicken.  The closest thing Icould guess would be turkey, but that isn't quite it either.  It was a bit difficult, because, hell, this is a pet!  But, I tried to put those thoughts aside, and enjoy the one and only time I will ever eat cuy.  It actually tasted pretty good.  But you do have to dig for the meat.  And they do leave the feet on.  Um.

My professor was very impressed at how much my spanishimproved after a few glasses of beer, and the next day suggested we serve beer in the classes, to make everyone speak better spanish.  ;)

Afterwards, we all piled into a bus-van, and made our way back to the school.  I returned home for a bit of a rest, and then returned to the school for salsa lessons!  Luckily we had a good balance of boys and
girls, and my partner was a pretty good dancer, so I was luckily.  He actually is going to move to Portland this year to work at OHSU as a cardiologist!

At one point, a woman came in and sat down, a friend of one of the students.  And she started smoking.  I have a hard enough time breathing when people are smoking, with the altitude, it is awful, i get dizzy and really can't breathe.  Then add the amount of exercise I was getting with the dancing, and the amount of air needed, and I thought I was going to pass out.  My partner asked her to put out the cigarette, but I had to leave for a bit anyway to breathe fresh air.  She came out later, and sat by me to chat.  Turns out she's from Eugene, Oregon!  How crazy, three people who live/will live/have lived in Oregon, in a room of about 10 people in Peru.  I guess the world really is a small place, huh?

You know, it is also interesting, nobody smokes around here, which I think is suprising.  The only time I see people smoke, they are tourists.  I asked about it, and apparently quite a few Peruvians smoke, but they only have one cigarette a day.  Huh, interesting.

Anyway, I had a great day, and returned home for a nice rest.  Tonight I get to put those dance skills to the test, as I'll be going out to celebrate my birthday!  But first, I guess to a football (soccer) game!

¡Adíos!

Jillian
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