First things first, let us take a minute to tell you about the greatest airline known to man-TACA/Avianca. Flying TACA was like a dream. Nowadays, airlines make you pay for a checked bag, you get about 7 mini pretzels and two sips of flat soda. While We are fans of mini things this does not translate to food. Imagine our utter delight when we were served two warm, dare I say homemade meals that included an appetizer, entree and desert. But wait, turns out TACA doubles as a club (please read cloob), and gave out free alcohol! I mean come on, it doesn't get better than that. So yeah, we really appreciated that during our 21hours of travel. Anyways, enough of theTACA advertisement.
We made it to Ollantaytambo, Peru! Ollanta is a tiny town in the Sacred Valley surrounded by the Andes mountains, Incan ruins, a river and a huge glacier. So yeah, the view sucks.
We are working for an organization called The Sacred Valley Project, which works to further the education of girls from the rural Andean communities by providing them with a safe dorm in Ollanta where they can attend school. The girls live in the dorm through the week and then walk home for the weekend. By walk home we mean go on intense hikes through the Andes, lasting anywhere from 2-6 hours. You may think we are sitting teaching English or helping with normal things, but that's ridiculous because normal things don't happen to us. Instead, the organization is building a brand new dormitory for the girls, and these two gringas are wheelbarrowing mass amounts of rock and sand to the construction site since it can't be accessed by car. Lets just say this work definitely doesn't require real clothes.
Besides wheelbarrowing we have been tirelessly accosting the locals looking for a way to play soccer (for Princeton soccer girls, FIGHT). Here are the most common responses: 1. There is a women's league, butttt you must have had at least two kids (we can't even get boyfriends, let alone two kids); 2. You can field a team of six girls and try to get in during pick up (it's been a tough recruiting season); and 3. Silence because girls don't play (this situation is very awkward). Whether they wanted us to or we were just too persistent and annoying, we were finally asked to play on Friday. The games were at "la loza" which is a 30ish yard cement field. You come with a team, and its 5v5, first to two goals, loser owes the winning team 5 soles. Our team, which consisted of us and three American men working on projects in town, looked a little out of place. No matter how weird it was, it was awesome and after a few wins earned some respect (or so we think...but then again, we couldn't understand half the stuff they were yelling from the sidelines).
Now to give you a peek into our home lives. We are staying in a hostel/homestay/who really knows what you call a place you pay 8 dollars a night for, dinner included. We have a mom, dad, sister, 5-year old brother, and grandma. The family is super cool and so welcoming that we were invited to our "sister," Cora's sweet 16 on our first night here. At the fiesta, our "mom," Sonia, must have sensed that we have no dancing abilities and gave us and a few other people staying at the hostel a much needed salsa tutorial. Not to downplay the importance of the cottage dance floor, but salsa is freaking awesome! While we have been speaking Spanish and getting to know the family, we have no clue in the world what the grandma is saying. For whatever reason though, she continues to speak the old Incan language of Quechua at us.
Yesterday, we went on a hike to the Pinkuylluna ruins which served as a storage area for the Incans way back in the day. Our house is also 550 years old, so we are pretty much Incan.