I guess I have begun to look forward to going home but I am still enjoying Cusco and I know I will miss its bustle, strong sunshine, friendly people and different lifestyles. It will be great to flush toilet paper again though!
At the beginning of the week I had some stomach problems but I recovered quickly receiving some good advice and medicine from Inka Farmacia.
The Hostal has been full of girls this week, two from Ireland, and one each from England, Hungry, Australia and the US. This has meant that meal times have been fun and Maria Terese from Ireland joined us at Hauncaro making an immediate hit on the children, the girls in particular.
On Monday we took Braulio to the doctor to have his stitches taken out and this went well. The rest of the week passed quietly with a good result at the pub quiz on Monday and on Wednesday we had drinks in Mandela's but not enough attending for a quiz. I tried a Chillout which is a cocktail with rum, cointreau, lemon and chilli so slept pretty well!
On Wednesday we made kites at school and although the educational content was fairly meagre the children really enjoyed the experience and a couple of them actually flew a little. The Christmas curriculum has also kicked in with colouring in of Papa Noel and making decorations!
As usual Friday was wash day for the children and afterwards we played a little volley ball and football. Earlier in the morning I had gone with the teacher to make a home visit to the mother of a girl who hadn't turned up that day. The mother was unwell and had kept her daughter, Nadie off school that day to help look after her baby. Unfortunately Nadia has some learning needs and we are hoping to get her an appointment with an educational psychologist, so her attendance next week is a must.
Marie Terese said goodbye to the class and she had made each of them a bead necklace as a parting present. This went well and she probably has enough photos to fill a book.
One evening this week I went to a concert at the town's main concert hall. This comprised about 12 duets of flute and guitar, mostly Andean music but some classical as well. It was pretty good and I particularly enjoyed a very powerful dance sequence at the end with brightly dressed men hitting each other with long ropes!.
This week I have continued my Spanish classes and I have found the continuous review of things that I have already covered has helped consolidated some of the rules but fluency and error free conversation is sadly elusive. I have been asked for links to schools that I can recommend. My school here in Perú, Excell, http://www.excel-spanishlanguageprograms-peru.org/ has been great but also last year in Guatemala at http://www.jabeltinamit.com/ but email me for a chat for more detail.
Today I bought myself a Christmas present of a HUNA jumper made of baby alpaca. It was quite expensive but probably at least half the price of its London equivalent. Today, Saturday I will go Christmas shopping and I am hoping that I can find some bargains among the textiles but I need to watch the weight to keep within my 20 Kg limit. Tomorrow I may rent a bike and explore some ruins at Tipon, about 30 Km from here towards Puna.