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Orientation!!!

Hello/Hola/Allillanchu!!!

Our group has been spending the past few days at Ccatan, a beautiful eco-lodge in Urubamba, a city in the highlands of Peru. Here, the main two languages are Quechua and Spanish. Back in the time of the Incas, the fertile and spacious land of Urubamba made it the primary center of agriculture for the entire society.

We have spent the past couple of days getting to know each other, doing ice breaker activities, and engaging in discussions regarding cultural norms, expectations and desires for our trip, and by tomorrow night, we will have all presented our individual “life maps,” which is basically our opportunity to share our entire life story with the entire group.

Today, we went on a beautiful hike right from Ccatan. I couldn’t tell you really where we went, besides that we went “left” and “up.” I’m not the greatest with directions but haven’t gotten lost yet so hopefully we will continue that trend!

Here at Ccatan we are being taken care of a wonderful incredibly kind family that owns the property. The matriarch,Yami, is a fantastic cook and prepares delicious fresh food for us each day. We are even able to eat fruits and vegetables here, because she makes sure to boil the water that everything is washed in! 🙂 We have to be really careful when eating vegetables in Peru, because if something is washed in dirty water, our stomachs will definitely not be able to handle it, as we are not used to the bacteria that is common here.

Tonight is our final night of orientation so we are planning on going out into town to Urubamba for a special dinner. Apparently, we are going to a place where we will have the opportunity to eat “Cuey” (not sure if that’s the correct spelling but whatever) – which is guinea pig, a super popular delicacy here.

When I was a little girl I had a scarring experience in which my pet guinea pig was left outside for a couple hours alone, and when we returned, it had vanished. We determined later that some kind of bird, likely a vulture or eagle, had carried it away and eaten it.

That being said, I personally will not be partaking in the guinea pig dining experience tonight, and I am completely satisfied with living vicariously through my fellow travel mates who will try it 🙂

Mom and dad, if you’re reading this – I love you!! See you soon 🙂 Hope you are doing well. Xoxoxo,

Bella <3