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Cusco

Volunteering at Yanapay!

sunny 17 °C

So, the first impressions of Cusco were good... its a lovely town with nice cobbled streets (reminds me a bit of Canterbury), ancient incan walls and it just seems like a nice place to be.

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We went hunting round for a cheap hostel.. as we were staying for nearly two weeks we wanted to get a good deal. We found a nice cheap place which had Cable TV, a bit of a treat for us, but it has meant a lot of nights spent in front of the tv eating popcorn! We had decided to do some volunteering in Cuzco, as there is an afterschool teaching programme called Aldea Yanapay which is free to volunteer at. The premise is that Peru has some particularly bad education programmes (in order to get a steady wage in Peru you can become either a teacher or join the police, therefore there are a lot of undereducated teachers who dont enjoy teaching at all) and domestic violence problems, so the school acts as a haven for kids where they can be helped with their homework, taught about morals and values, and generally have a bit of fun. So we have been spending four hours a day popping in and helping out. The school is actually in the midst of preparing for a festival at the moment, so a lot of our time went towards helping out with that. The kids are going to put on a few shows so we have been teaching them songs, circus stuff (juggling and spinning plates), and ´theatre´, which is really just teaching four year old kids to act like animals and do rolly pollys. Its a lot of fun, and most of the kids are really sweet, although Sadie is working with some older kids and sometimes has to physically restrain them from play fighting! Its been really nice to feel like were giving something back to the communities that were visiting.

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So all in all we have a had a busy week, we´ve been taking spanish lessons in the mornings and so we have about an hour break between lessons and helping out at the school, but its been really nice to have a bit of a routine after having an endless amount of free time for 5 months. The other volunteers at Yanapay are a lot of fun too and we went out to a punk rock themed party (where I ended up looking like howard moon) and had a good night out.

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The bars in Cuzco are so desperate to get customers that they all give out one free drink for every customer, which means that its possible to bar hop all night and not have to pay a penny for drinks. We tested this plan out last night when we met up with two couples who we did the pampas tour in Rurre with, lots of drinking lots of fun and lots of dancing- all for free. I love Peru!

So today is our first day off in a while, preparing for our Machu Picchu trek tomorrow, and getting up to date with blogs and photo uploads! All our love to everyone reading (hope youre satisfied now theres been some dancing in the blogs Jon), will update again after Machu Picchu!

Posted by St Martins 13:52 Archived in Peru

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