Monday, August 16, 2010

Unpacking and Packing

It is a bit overwhelming to pack for 6 months of living abroad when you are not sure if you'll stay longer or not. It's also overwhelming to unpack from 3 months of camp and then re-pack in the span of 4 days. I am currently trying to do laundry, run errands, and make sure my back up hard drive works all at the same time. It seems to be going pretty well so far.

For those of you that don't know what is going on in my life right now I shall explain. I took a TEFL certification course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) last October in the hopes that I would be abroad again after another summer of leading adventure trips for Camp Echo. I originally was thinking I would head back to Ecuador but as I did more thinking I realized that I wanted to go somewhere new and somewhere I could have opportunities to work in the travel/tour industry after teaching. Cuzco seemed like the perfect place to go. Not only is there the Inca Trail to go on but a multitude of other outdoor activities to partake in. I have always wanted to do the trek to Machu Picchu and am set up to do it from the 24th through the 27th of August. Of course, I have wanted to teach as well and after applying to a few places in Cuzco I got an offer from an institute called Maximo Nivel. It is run by Americans and they have locations in Costa Rica Guatemala and the US. It has wonderful amenities and lots of resources which is fantastic. I immediately said yes. The interview went really well and the way I am set up to work is that in September I will start in the Academic Office and be a substitute while I get the orientation I missed because I will have been on the Inca Trail. I am very happy with the arrangement because I will have the time to observe and get to know the institute before being thrown into having 6 classes a day.

I am not going to lie and say that I have no nerves and am completely comfortable with everything that is about to happen over the next month let alone 6 but I am ready for the stress and the discomfort because it's all a part of growing and learning. I just have to remember that it will pass and I will eventually get into a groove. My biggest worry is actually altitude sickness at this point. Cuzco is above 10,000 feet and I will be coming from sea level. My body is not the happiest with drastic altitude changes but hopefully a few days of rest and a lot of water will allow me to be ready to do the trek. Thank goodness the company I am going with carries oxygen just in case.

I am also a bit nervous about being completely alone. I am staying with a family I found of facebook when I first get to Cuzco and then I will be moving in with a family associated with Maximo Nivel while I look for an apartment. I am hoping to move in with another teacher so as to have some camaraderie and to have someone who is in the same boat as me. I'm not worried that I won't make friends but there is always that point when moving to a new place when I feel like I don't know anyone and I am completely alone. It happened in college and I have no doubt it will happen again. At least this time I am ready for it.

Back to packing! Peru me voy!


  1. This is so exciting Amy! I'm sorry I'm not there to at least meet up with you at some point. You will do great, and I think you'll like Cuzco. Drink lots of Mate de Coca - it helps with the altitude. Also, some of the pharmacies (they're often called Boticas in Peru) have some medicine that helps with altitude sickness if it gets really bad. Suerte, amiga mia!!