Monday, September 23, 2013

Whatever it takes to defy social norms

Hola amigos! 

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. 

The town in the foreground is Ollanta and in the background is the Incan Fortress which overlooks Ollanta. Also note that the fortress in the shape of a llama (head on the left) ..Honestly how the hell did they do that..

Pinkuylluna ruins. Pretty incredible. 

Pinkuylluna ruins again. See that little person in the front? That's our new friend Sarah having a casual Sunday read. Weird fact: she lives 35 minutes away from Claire in Connecticut and is our year. Surprising? Of course not.. Who doesn't meet their neighbor in the middle of an Incan ruin on a mountaintop in a rural village in Peru? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

See Ya Later

Well, after thinking a blog name would just come to us, it didn't. So as we sit head-to-toe in comfy sweats it came to us... we hate real clothes and we want to avoid wearing them for as long as possible. So, while we are traveling for multiple reasons, subconsciously we think it's to avoid having to wear uncomfortable pant suits and tight dresses. Let's be real, Fat Funny Friends don't look good in tight attire (Am I right Watty? Funny side note, Watty will soon be heading off to China in the near future. enough said, hysterical). Anyways, since we need to catch a plane in ten minutes we are going to keep this first post short. 

For those who don't know, who are most likely not following this blog anyways, Claire and I will be traveling/volunteering/backpacking for the next eight months in South America- the epitome of doing whatever it takes to avoid wearing real clothes. The first leg of this adventure starts with a 21 hour travel period where we will be connecting in El Salvador, Lima, and finally landing in Cusco. Alright, off to do all that.

If you want to get in touch we don't have phones, so think of it as a blessing or a curse depending on who you are. If it's a curse, feel free to email us whenever.


Talk to ya soon!