(Part 3 of e-mails from my time in Peru)


So finally, I made it to my language school, at 9 in
the morning.  Sonja walked with me to school, and
pointed out all the streets and the directions.  I
thought the walk was going to be about 15 to 20
minutes, but it turns out it was a good half an hour.
Finally, we arrived at the school, a half an hour
late!  I had to wait until 11 to start my classes,
either because my teacher wasn´t there, or because I
was too late, I wasn´t quite sure, since everything
was said in Spanish.  But, it turns out I´ve been able
to hold my own in Spanish, and actually they think
that my spanish is pretty good (for a gringa at
least), so yay!  I was so worried about that before I
left, but all is well.

I have two teachers at school, Erik, in the morning,
and Gary just after that.  It is funny, because Erik
likes to visit quite a bit.  So, most of the time we
just talk, especially about the differences in
different countries.  All in Spanish, of course.

I also met another student here, Cassandra, she is
from Quebec, and her and I are getting along great.
It made such a difference to have a friend here!

After classes, we went on the "citi tur" at least,
that is how it sounds.  Cassandra, Margarite (another
student from Australia) and I borded a bus with a
whole bunch of other tourists, and saw a lot of the
sites in Cusco, including Sacsayhuaman, which is
prounounced "Sexy Woman" yes indeedy.  Muy
interesante.  And that was beautiful, it was up above
the city, huge Incan stones that make up these giant
curving walls.  Don´t worry, I will bring photos, but
it still is just not the same as being there.

But boy, the altitude really hits you!  I felt so
completely out of shape, climbing up Sacsayhuaman, and
had to stop, my heart pounding, my head swimming.
But, it turns out, it is only the altitude.  My
familia keeps giving me Mate de Coca tea to help me
deal with it.

Night falls quickly in Cusco, and after the tour I
realized I was going to have to find my way home in
the dark.  Casssandra lives with a family near me, so
I decided to take the bus home with her.  But nowhere
did I have written down my address, or my phone
number, or my families name.  It was horrible.  First
we stopped at Cassandra´s house, and she had a bite to
eat, and I met the people she lives with, and then her
and I set off to find my place.  We walked around for
over an hour, which was kinda scary.  Everything looks
the same!  I live down a little alleyway, which is how
the houses are set up here, and we kept going down
alleyway & alleyway.  Trust me, two white girls like
us walking around the same places over and over again
really stands out. 

Finally, we got to an area that looked more familiar,
and we saw a cop car.  We continued walking, and the
police officer came after us "Señoritas, señoritas!".
Apparently, my family had called the police, they were
so worried about me.  But both Cassandra and I had
heard that it isn´t a good idea to go off with the
cops, so we just had him point us in the right
direction, and walked off.  Uh huh, a half an hour
later, her and I were still wandering around.  It was
awful.  AWFUL.  Finally, the cops saw us again, and
exclaimed that we were still lost, and this time we
surrendered, and trusted fate, and got in the car as
he took us home.  I walked right past my home without
even recognizing it. 

I couldn´t believe this, my second day, and I got so
horribly lost my familia had to call the police!

So then, I had a little to eat, chatted with the
family, and made my way up the three flights of stairs
to my room and went to bed.  Or tried to.

My heart felt like it was going to explode.  I tried
everything to get it to calm down, and I knew it was
the effects of the altitude, combined with all the
walking I had done that day.  Any little movement
would cause my heart to beat harder.  I just tried to
lay still.  I even tried laying down on the floor to
sleep, because I figured it was a little lower
altitude, but of course, I don´t really think 2 feet
helps much. 

Finally, at three in the morning, I went and woke
Gladys, my other "sister", for altitude sickness
pills.  A little while later she returned with Agua de
Alhazar, Mate de Coca, and a chunk of Glucose.  I had
to take a spoonful of this Agua de Alhazar, whatever
that was, and suck on the glucose.  The Agua de
Alhazar tasted like straight vodka, but it did help,
and I was able to get a few hours of sleep.

Okay, do you think this is long enough?  I do.  Sorry
about all the long e-mails, but I know it is just the
first week that I want to get everything out!

Hasta Luego,


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