What a wonderful weekend!! I had the pleasure of traveling to Taray with the teachers of Maximo for a day of service. We painted a few houses bright colors such as Celeste and naranja! I didn't like the sandpapering so much but the painting was fun and it looked so nice afterward as you can see! We had a delicious lunch and gave chocolatada to the niños of the town. We topped it off with a little soccer in the small cement field they had. Unfortunately, Taray is suceptable to flooding and therefore no one wants to invest and money into it to build anything since most of it would crumble and be washed away. Our hope is that we bring at least a little bit of color to the town and lift some spirits. It poured for a little while after lunch but we were able to finish everything up in no time. It was nice working with Nicole and Alex who are coworkers I haven't had as much opportunity to hang out with. I like them both a lot. While we were sanding Alex wrote on the wall with the sandpaper Apoj which in Russian means "be inspired". He is half Russian half South African. It makes for quite the accent!
On Saturday I had the pleasure of mountain biking through 28 kilometers of the Peruvian countryside. Although it was a bit expensive for a day trip ($85) I had a blast and I am so glad that the rain from the morning didn't stay with us. It turned into a beautiful day and the three of us (Danielle, Marc, and I) made out way through the backroads to Moray which is an archeological site known to be a laboratory or sorts for the Inca. There are multiple whole dug into the earth with large tiers making their way up the sides. Supposedly different type of corn and potatoes were grown on different levels.
We had a nice lunch of sandwiches, juice, and cookies in Maray as we watched everyone set up for elections which took place today. (Cusco is more or less shut down today because of the elections. Also Peruvians are not allowed to buy alcohol the two days preceeding the elections. Everyone has to vote or else they get fined and no one could enjoy going out this weekend either. Bummer for Peruvians.) After lunch we continued on to the Maras salt mines which were awesome! There a tons of pools of salt water. The water, that comes from the mountainside, flows into pools and eventually evaporates leaving salt behind. There are three types of salt: white, the kind we eat, brown, the kind for animals, and dirty which is for fertilizer maybe? I forget what the dirty kind is used for. Most likely for animals as well. The last part of the trip was incredibly steep and full of sharp turns. I pride myself on the fact that I only had to legitimately get off my bike once to walk it. A few times I stopped and kind of hobbled my bike around a corner or two but for the most part I stayed on. Mountain biking might be my new favorite sport. The suspension on the bikes we used (Kona)was insane! My butt is very sore today but it was worth it. I missed riding my bike so much!
I had a wonderful weekend and I just got my schedule for the next month. I have 3 Bascio month 2 classes which is totally cool with me. I like Basico and having more classes at the same level makes lesson planning that much faster. I also have an Intermediate 1 month 2 and month 3 class as well as an advanced month 2 class. Most of the classes are continuing with me from last month which is great. I really liked my classes a lot so it will be nice to be with the same students and continue to help them!
Next week we have a three day weekend and I am thinking of taking a trip to Arequipa if I can. I'd really like to go with another person if I can find someone. Maybe Shane will go with me from the Family House. He is trying to travel more. As much as I love travelling alone, it's nice to have company some times. :)