Friday, June 28, 2013

Students on their way home!

Hello family and friends of WHS! The students are all checked in for their flight from Cusco to Lima. They had a fantastic trip. We will update the blog if there are any travel delays but the flight is scheduled to land at Newark at 7:30am tomorrow morning. Thank you for your continued support of this program!

 28 JUN 13  -  FRIDAY
          DEPART CUZCO                    325P          
          ARRIVE LIMA                     450P          
          DEPART LIMA                     1020P          
 29 JUN 13  -  SATURDAY
          ARRIVE NEWARK                   730A           

Erin Lasky
Director of Operations

Day 14 June 27, 2013


Today was our last full day of our stay in Peru. We woke up and had breakfast at the hostal and then took a rather lengthy bus ride to Cusco. The view on the way there was amazing. After we ate lunch at a local restaurant, we headed back to the hotel to regroup. We then went to Saqsaynaman. Saqsaynaman is a ruins site. While it only had the base of the structures still intact, they were the largest stones we have seen. This is also the site of the Inti-Raymi celebration, which is celebrated every 24 of June. Unfortunately, we came too late to enjoy the festivities. The best part of the ruins was the rock slide and an underground tunnel.  Afterwards we went to an ice-cream shop and watched a very intense soccer game: Spain vs. Italy. It was even entertaining for me and Melissa as non-soccer fans as the winner, Spain, was determined by penalty kicks. When we came back from our ice cream trip we had some downtime to relax and reflect on the trip and the global issues that really stuck with us before having an amazing dinner. Our last group activity was a reflection on the overall trip. We shared with each other what we will always remember and the things that most inspired us. Our trip to Peru was amazing and opened my eyes to so many things. While tomorrow will end my journey in Peru, I will never forget the bonds I formed with the local people and the memories I’ve created.
Today we are going to explore Cusco historic city center.

Miah Hagood

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 13 – Jun 26
Today after breakfast, at the Full Moon Lodge, we all had free time until 10:15. All the girls decided to go shopping. Each time something caught my eye in the market, I had to resist the temptation to purchasing it.  Last year I felt that I needed to bring Peru back to my family, but now I am trying to be more reasonable with my purchases. At 10:15 we walked together to the train station in Ollantaytambo , and after a two hour train ride we arrived to “Aguas Calientes”, where we ate lunch at the station and took a 20 minutes bus ride to Machu Picchu. Our exploration of this magnificent place began with a guided tour. The guide explained to us the rich history of ‘the lost city od the Incas.’ Afterwards, we explored the ruins in small groups. Machu Picchu is a place that is extremely hard to describe. I do not think that my words or pictures give it justice. At first the heat and multitude of stairs made it trying to walk; however, the cooler it got, and the more we walked, the beauty of Machu Picchu began to emerge. As we walked around, we stopped so many times to take pictures because it seemed that we always found a better view of the ruins. From the top of the site, the cool air was refreshing and the wind pushed me to keep exploring. The breathtaking views made me feel light on my feet and all the walking we did was worth it. I feel that Machu Picchu truly is a wonder of the world.
I send lots of love to my parents who will soon have to deal with two children once again.
Love,  Melissa Calderon -
PS: Dear Mom, Please tell Emily that I got her llama and it is the most expensive thing I purchased on this trip.
Our Reflections about Machu Picchu:
 “Machu Picchu was incredible was again and the history behind it is fascinating. The best part was the view. (Dad, I drank a lotJ)” – Julian
“Machu Picchu was even more spectacular than expected” – Alex
“I made it to Machu Picchu and didn’t break myself. It is beautiful and I hope to go back again with my family” – Ava
“Machu Picchu was truly one of the most breathtaking scenes I have ever seen” – Miah
“Machu Picchu was more beautiful than I expected. The views were breathtaking and it was a good way to end the trip” – James
“Peaceful, magnificent, enlighten, and an intriguing place” – Sra. Reyes
In December 1911 The New York Times wrote the following about Bingham’s rediscovery of Machu Picchu for the western world of:

 “Just now, when we thought there was practically no portion of the Earth’s surface still unknown, when the discovery of a single lake or mountain, or the charting of a remote strip of coast line was enough to give a man fame as an explorer, one member of the daredevil explorers craft has struck it rich, struck it so dazzlingly rich indeed, that all his confrères may be pardoned if they gnash their teeth in changing and turn green with envy” – Sra. Faus

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Post from Miah

Sorry parents, this post somehow did not get posted from Peru, so we are re-posting it this evening.
 Saturday June 22, 2013
Today was rather bittersweet as it was our last day in Bandolista. We woke up at eight and shared our last breakfast with our host families. Afterwards we set out to finish the wall. While the girls worked to finish the walls, the guys helped fix a broken step. Today was very successful and we finished both projects. We worked for about three hours before heading back home to pack the last of our belongings. After packing we had a Pachamanca with the community to celebrate our last day in Bandolista.  We played with the children and played soccer before  eating. our  Pacamanca, an earth oven  meal, consisted  of chicken, pork, potatoes, Guinea Pig , sweet potatoes, yucca and  turnips. After the Pacamanca and a teary goodbye we headed back to Ollantaytambo for basket weaving. After finishing our crafts we went back to the full moon lodge and headed to dinner at La Esquina which we are at now. Tomorrow we are heading out for our trek and we will not be able to post for two days. Until next time.
P.S. Mom and Dad I have decided that these are now my people. You may send my belongings accordingly.
Miah Hagood

Day 12 - June 25, 2013
Today, with the exception of Julian, we went to a Peruvian school in the town of Urubamba. The name of the school is “La escuela Valle Sagrado”.  We had the choice to visit any class we wanted to so first Alex and I went to an English class which turned into a math class 10 minutes after we walked in. Miah, Ava, and Melissa went to a ceramics class which Ava’s clay fell off the wheel 5 times. After the classes switched the first time, we spent most of the time in their English class, except for me who spent all of the afternoon playing basketball with kids from the school.  Alex played soccer in her free time and Miah, Alex and I all played basketball for a little bit. It was a great experience to see how schools in a different country work, especially one that is in a Spanish speaking country. Their English classes were like our language classes and it was cool seeing how they teach the kids.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

This blog corresponds to Sunday, June 23th:
Hey Guys,
Yesterday we set off on our hike to Choquebamba at 10:00 in the morning. The hike to the trail was tiring but nothing compares to the trek up the mountain. By far the most difficult hike I have ever done, it took us all day to reach the peak. We walked through crazy weather and thousands of prickly bushes, but finally we got to the top. Exhausted, we dropped our bags and set up our tents for the night. Lunch and dinner were incredible, and our guide, Adolfo, is the man. After a grueling day we retired to our tents and listened to the sound of the light rain.
-Julian H. Webster

This blog corresponds to Monday, June 24rd:
Hello all,
Today we woke up in the tent at 8:00. In the morning we had bread, butter, jam, oatmeal, and crackers.  After breakfast,  we dismantled our tents and packed away our sleeping bags to put onto the horses so we could begin our walk to Pumamarca ruins. Pumamarca is a beautiful Incan site. After seeing the breathtaking ruins,  we had lunch.  After lunch, I was a little tired from the strenuous hike. we were back to the Hostel in Ollantaytambo and we all quickly jumped in the shower. Right now we are all in our rooms playing games and relaxing. I miss you guys.
Love, Alex
PS:  My room better look nice

Saturday, June 22, 2013