various observations and experiences

I have met quite a few people since arriving: Rachel from NY, Joe from DC, Erik from VA, Emil (however you spell that) and Simon from Denmark, Kristen from WA, Lawrence from Germany, Elizabeth from Australia, Lindsay from England, Caroline from Belgium, Eddie from Brazil, and Matt from England. There are numerous other people whose names I do not know (some of whom have left now), but whose nationality I do: a man from Germany, a guy from Brazil, another lady from Brazil, two or three ladies from Scotland, a lady from somewhere in Asia, I think, and a lady from Germany. Excepting two people, everyone not from an English-speaking country speaks nearly perfect English, of course (we Americans are rather pathetic when it comes to knowing different languages, I think). Consequently, during break time or outside of school, we speak English with the occasional bit of Spanish thrown in.

While the residents of Lima all wore basically the same thing in public, jeans and a black coat, the people of Cusco apparently feel no need to conform to any such drab, uniform style. People wear all colors, and I am by no means out of place in my blue-green fleece jacket or green, white, and blue patterned hoodie.

The venders offering their wares on the street give up so easily! Maybe it is because there are enough gringos here that they know that “no, gracias” actually means the person is not going to purchase something. Who knows. Whatever the reason, if a girl informs me that I should buy some of her silver necklaces and I murmur “no, gracias” as I keep walking, she does not follow me, insisting that her necklaces are the best in Cusco. They certainly are nowhere near as persistent as in Guatemala or Uganda. And that is fine with me.

The prices here are odd. Fresh bread and fruit are incredibly cheap. Peanut butter and vitamin E pills, according to Adela, are not. I am pretty sure the exact opposite is true at home.

If the day is rainy, there is a pattern to the rain. It starts in the early morning and continues until about 11:00. It lets up and the sun comes out until 3:00ish and drizzles again until around 5:00. Then the sun comes out until sunset at 6:15ish.

I drink tea at nearly every meal, and one could almost call it necessary. I am frequently cold, though hopefully that will soon be remedied by a package of my heavier winter clothing that the parents sent, and a hot beverage warms me right up at least for the next hour or so.

Since I arriving I have met four times with some of my fellow students to go out to eat somewhere in the evenings. We talk about all sorts of things: TV shows, racism, politics, host families, food, languages, travels, future plans. Every time has been quite enjoyable.



    1. Yea, they are quite interesting. Mostly they consist of everyone (but me) agreeing with each other about the wonderfulness of government-provided healthcare and the annoyingness of Republicans and such things. I tend to just sit back, watch, and be amused.

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