Hola. I´m alive and i´m well, so it´s all good. this week that passed was a bit weird coz it hardly felt like i was at school at all. there were classes monday and tuesday only. again the kiddies were great. giving me hugs in class and stickers and stuff. sometimes they offer you their candy during recess but i never take anything, i don´t like taking candy from babies heheheh. however the 6th grade classes i had were HORRENDOUS. even the main english teacher i´m assisting said that the last volunteer walked out on the class and was found crying in the playground coz they were out of c0ntrol. and i´m not kidding you, she said to me, “if you don´t want to come back to this class, i understand¨”. and i´m gonna take her up on the offer coz they were horrible. every time you tell them to be quiet they make faces and make fun of what you´ve said and i they just walk out of the classroom. i was so ready to start cracking skulls but i just kept writing no trabaje en clase in their workbooks in red pen and that gives them the shizznits but hey, you gotta do your work. i was soooooo mad!!!!
but there was no school on wednesday coz the kids had to perform in the main plaza, like a competition against the other schools in cusco. i was told that the competition is so fierce that the kids in the performance aren´t even told the name of the dance in case they accidentally tell another kid from another school. anyway the whole school is meant to come and support the groups dancing, so the plaza was filled with kids from everywhere – it like those CGSSSA sports carnival type things, only with traditional dancing! but seriously, june is like fiesta month in cusco so every time i walk into town there´s some fiesta going on hahahah. my school performed but it was the 6th grade class and i thought, “what did your dancing teacher have to do to get you all to perform so well?”. they also had a competition for the younger division which is what i saw the younger kids practising for my first week in cusco but i think i missed it cos i was eating lunch!!! boooooo!!! they were so cute practising!!!
other than that the homestay family are still ok. sometimes it´s a little frustrating trying to talk to them when i don´t understand everything they say but on the whole we understand each other. i know enough to understand it when señor ochoa (juan) told me that he supported honudras over chile in the football, due to the longstanding rivalry between chile and peru which i don´t quite understand. he was very passionate about it too. i dunno. but they´ve been pretty good to me. their grandkids have been coming over a lot for lunch this week and because i´m the only guest in the house right now, they have taken to sitting me right at their kitchen table with them at lunchtime. one of their grandkids, diana, is 22 and can speak english pretty well so it´s been good having her there at the kitchen table and translating what they are saying at times. i don´t really get why there are so many of them over there at lunch, but it´s nice to be included. the other day señora ochoa (teresa) served this soup thing called quinoa which to most south americans probably doesn´t seem very exciting but i really liked it!!! it´s got some sort of grain thing in it and then it has veggies and of course potato. i don´t remember if i was eating quinoa or not but the other day i also got liek an 8th of a corn on the cob thing. i didn´t know how i was gonna eat it so i didn´t. the others kinda stabbed it with their fork and that´s how they got at the corn kernels.
this week as well i met up with the other volunteers in calca which was nice, it´s good to hang with english speakers where our customs and cultures are similar. there wasn´t any class on thursday coz there was a strike so literally the roads were dead coz it was strike about gas and the mining and how it will affect the campesinos. i walked right past a few of the marches and they were all really into it. i was literally walking in the middle of the major road, it was that dead. at one point there was a group of people with banners and stuff and dressed up in colours, i´m guessing to support the march, and after they walked past a little kid on a scooter wheeled right past me and them and was like, “yaaaaaaaaaaaaay!”. it was downhill slope and i guess it was the perfect opportunity for him to really let fly on a deserted road hahahah. anyway we went to an english pub (actually, they were already there, i met up with them hehehe) to watch the game between england and algeria, and that´s when it was pointed out to me that wayne rooney looks like shrek. lol. poor wayney. didn´t even notice it!!! hahaha. anyway three of us also went to a place in town called qoricancha, which was the most religious place back in the day for inca culture, but when the spanish conquistadors came along they built a church right over it to suppress their religion. it was really interesting to learn all about what qoricancha was used for and how it used to look. like the walls were covered with gold like literally covered with actual gold. and the spanish came and stripped it all and melted down all their religious statues (also gold) and sent the whole lot back to spain. in qoricancha you can also see how the incas used to construct their buildings which was really interesting coz they didn´t use any mortar to bind their massive stone bricks , they made their bricks so that they join together, kinda in the same way lego is joined together. and each brick is different to the brick next to it. the shape of their constructions were also different to how it is now, so that they can withstand earthquakes. which it actually did coz in the 50s there was an earthquake and the spanish built church fell to the ground and underneath it all the original qoricancha building remained. the site also has room they kind of use like a planetarium where they could use the placement of the stars and planets to predict rain and weather and all the rest of it. it was pretty interesting. they also thought the southern cross constellation was pretty important, which i thought was pretty cool. they saw the centre of the constellation as cusco, like the core of their world, and the stars coming out of it in a cross as the regions of the inca empire. was pretty cool. and the building also had their windows arranged so that the sun hits the right window at a certain time of the year. man, it was like a movie the way they thought up stuff. anyway … maybe i´m being a nerd but i found it all interesting and i´ve probably got the information all wrong.
yesterday i went to the sacred valley as well where i saw some more inca ruins, which was really interesting at the time but i swear to god i can´t remember half the stuff the guide was saying but it wasn´t borring, i swear!!! although when i look at the photos that i took i can´t remember where it was taken, if it was the ruins at pisac or the ruins at ollantaytambo. ooopsies. hahahah. it was a whole day out of cusco which was really nice. at one point were were at a point higher than cusco so when we got off the bus i felt that same wooden leg type feeling i had when i got off the plane after first landing here. the sacred valley tour also included the markets at pisac which was nice, although i felt really bad coz there were these little kids all dressed up in traditional gear and i paid them like 2 soles for them to pose for a photo for me. i know, pathetic of me!! but one of them was holding a little lamb!!!! i also found out that my little world vision kid lives in the sacred valley, coz we passed the town he lives in (lamay).
last night as well there was a maaaaaaaaaaaasive concert type situation thing in the main plaza. they set up a stage right outside the cathedral and a couple of bands played and the plaza was packed, i hadn´t ever seen it that packed, and that includes all the ten bazillion fiestas that have been going on!!! luckily i was meeting up with a mate and after we had located each other (there was a bit of a kerfuffle) we watched the fireworks which were really nice. and the fireworks display went for aaaaages, but i still really enjoyed it. i didn´t even want to take a photo of the fireworks coz i just wanted to enjoy the moment of seeing fireworks go off in a really old plaza. soooo pretty.
after that we went to a local salsa joint where can i just say i am so glad i have dark features coz there was not one tourist in there and if there was a blonde head in that place they would´ve stuck out like a sore thumb!!!! they didn´t play like traditional salsa type music, they only played reggaeton (again) and at one point there was pan pipe music but over a reggaeton beat. guess these people love to move lol. i felt like a dill but i kept up. but get this for 23 soles you get entry for two people and TWO BOTTLES OF WINE. loved it!!!!! needless to say, i slept in this morning hahahaha. it was a pretty good night and i had a lot of fun dancing like i knew what i was doing. my mate looked like he was having fun, he was laughing a lot. probably laughing at me. lol!!! ohhhh!!! but the funniest part of the night was when this song came on and part of the song was in english (the majority of it was in spanish) and he goes to me, “what is she saying here?” and i tell him “she´s saying i want you to hold me” and he says “hold me? i thought she was saying hurt me! i always thought that was wrong!”. lol!!!! i guess in every country everyone has an alex the seal moment.
today is dia del padre so when i woke up with a fantastic headache i make my way into the dining room and the whole extended ochoa clan are sitting there having cake and refreshments!! how embarrassing!!! anyway i greet juan happy father´s day and he sits me at the table with the rest of the fam and i´m fed cake and hot milk (i wantéd water but i wasn´t gonna complain heheheh). they are really nice about including me in family stuff, it feels nice. they all left for lunch somewhere so i went back to bed to get some more shuteye, but one of the grandkids, diana´s little sister (i forget her name) stayed behind. i think she satyed behind to do an assignment for school coz there was stuff all over the table when i left for town today. i was starving!! i went into a restaurant and ordered chicharron coz i wanted to compare it to filo chicharron but i think the guy gave me the wrong meal coz what came out was beefsteak, which they also have here. next time. ohhhh!! and they have adobo here too which i saw in a restaurant window but i haven´t had any yet …
anyway my mates are coming in from calca tonight so i will stick around and wait for them …