Sunday, March 2, 2014

And So It Begins

Day 3 - Mandy and Alo

The day started with a spontaneous session of yoga led by Ajah on the lawn. All of us enjoyed Jordan´s commentary while he held his tree poses and downward dogs. After a break from our struggles, we began our group bonding activities with our leaders, Randal, Javier, Johann and Adela. We learned about trust through a games that forced to us to depend on our peers and identified our comfort zones.

At the end of the activity period, we began our scavenger hunt. Split into groups, we were given a list of tasks and places to visit. We began our hunt, unaware of the dangers approaching. As the team ventured into the town, we were met with buckets and buckets and buckets of water, due to the local carnival. Spraying people with water and foam is a long-standing tradition in Peru. When we first entered the town, we were amazed by the intricate irrigation system that ran down every street. Little did we know, this was every childs´ water supply. In panic, groups fled back to the hotel. We were drenched, being chased by seemingly every Peruvian child in Ollantaytambo. We made it back safely, only to hear that we had to return to La Plaza de Armas for lunch.

Alo was particularly peeved by the entire situation. After the scavenger hunt, he had a small conniption. "I´M COVERED IN [CRAP]!" After a break, we all found new motivation and prepared ourselves for the next trip. Shielded by rain jackets, ponchos and trash bags, we crept along the walls, peaking around every turn. Right as we approached the Plaza, a group of twenty, including teenagers and adults, appeared behind us just as we had all gotten dry. Our group sprinted for the restaurant. We had some casualties... they made it though.

After enjoying our delicious Sopa de Crema, we received our main course: chicken or beef. The vegetarians in the group, Lindy and Amelia had cooked vegetables. Lunch was over and we all headed in different directions to shop and explore. The group found itself the hotel very soon after, only to be reminded again that we had to go to the Plaza. At this moment we heard that there was a large group of kids with buckets surrounding the hotel. We were trapped.

Most refused to get wet again and with Alo, HIGHLY motivated, we crept out once again. Just as we left the building, Mandy spotted the group right at the end of the street. They began chasing us, screaming and brandishing their buckets of water. Our group ran like [heck]... We found ourselves trapped in a patch of grass surrounded by walls. Alo, focused on staying dry, leaped over the wall and disappeared into the trees. After Katie, Stephanie and Amanda clambered over the wall in desperation, the rest of the group refused to follow, doubting the decision and "turned themsleves in". Admittedly, as Mandy is telling me, it was the less pleasant way to go. This group arrived at the Plaza drenched and peeved. Meanwhile, the other four made friends with the people who had their home behind that wall after fully explaining why they suddenly dropped into their yard. They managed to find their way the rest of the group safely after using a cab to drive 100ft in order to avoid fifteen buckets filled with water. To say the least, Mandy was not happy to find me without a drop on my clothing while her hair was dripping with water.

Finally together, we headed up the mountain toward the carnival. After a group of us raced up the stairs for the last stretch, we were all greeted by five-year-olds with water balloons and foam spray cans. Nic, Keenan, Stephanie, Katie, Newell, Emma, Mandy and Alo dodged their way through the hordes of people and up the slope to evade what waited the others below. By now you can guess what happened. After the rest of the group fought their way through water and soap, we sat and watched the donkey races and soccer games, while Keenan hiked up the mountain further in pursuit of a cow.

After our descent, we got back to our hotel. Right away, Andy headed for the room to take a shower. Alo had the key, and with everyone watching, missed the balcony and threw the only way into their room onto the roof above. How we we got it down....well, just ask us once we have safely returned from Peru.

The rest of the night went smoothly with a nutritious dinner and a cake for MANDY´S 18TH BIRTHDAY. Just before bed, we had our meeting and did our ANCHOR (Appreciations, News, Concerns, Hopes, Obscurities and a Reading). Tomorrow we will start our day at 8am with breakfast and have new adventures, hiking around Peru.

                                                                                                                            -Mandy and Alo

PS: Excuse our mistakes, but at 10,000ft we´re a little loopy...


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