Yesterday on my bus to Huancayo it took around 9 hours in total but with the armchairs and the beautiful scenery I didn't mind!
I was met at the bus station by bernabe the charity director and Eva, one of the organisers. We all climbed in to this really old school bright orange beetle and headed for the volunteer house. They welcomed me in to their 'family' and discussed what would be happening before I went to bed. The down side to being 6 foot 4 in Peru is that you dont fit anywhere, not even in the beds. That along with the struggling to get breath due to the altitude made for a pretty restless night. This morning I woke up and bernabe took me to the centre of Huancayo to look around and to get some breakfast before heading to Pukara, which is just outside the town and where all the volunteering takes place. When we got there I met two other volunteers who came with us to a fiesta that was going on in the town. As we got closer there was a group of people huddled round so we went to look closer to see that they were busy sacrificing a cow. It definitely wasn't the nicest thing I have seen as there was blood all over the place and the cow was either still alive or the muscles were twitching, either way we didn't stick round for long. From there me bernabe and Thomas, a French volunteer, went to the building where we were going to be setting up the new school. We basically had to move all the furniture from downstairs to upstairs, but this sounds easier than it was! Firstly I had to take the pictures off the wall, simple... Until I took the first one down easily only to find a huge spider on the back! It's safe to say I was a lot more cautious after that. The last piece of furniture we moved was an old wooden wardrobe which was huge and really heavy, not easy to do when you get breathless just laying down due to altitude but eventually we got it all done and left feeling proud.
As we left the building a lady across the street invited us in to her home, i thought perhaps for a little drink...wrong, it was to see her guinea pig farm, and there was hundreds of them in little pens, there was no sign of where the family lived, but she was very friendly and nice to us. After seeing this farm bernabe thought it would be a good idea for us to go to a restaurant and eat some guinea pig, after all that's what it was being farmed for. The best way to describe the taste is like a mix between chicken and fish! They usually serve it with the head still attached but bernabe kindly asked the waitress to remove the heads, but to leave it on his. Although it was an excellent experience I won't be repeating it in the near future! On the plus side at the restaurant we got complimentary Pisco Sours, which is a local drink to Peru. it was described to us as tequila to mexicans or vodka to Russians and I wasn't dissapointed, it's a drink made with Pisco, egg whites, lemon and bitters with a strong aftertaste, definitely will be drinking more of them! Tonight the volunteers who have been here longer have invited me out for a meal and drinks so will be good to get to meet everyone properly and see what the huancayo nightlife has to offer!
It's been a pretty intense day so far and I'm sure will continue that way so going to get a rest before tonight!