I've been in Cusco for the past 10 days and I'm loving it! It's such a beautiful city with particularly welcoming people, even though it's the most touristy place I've seen in Peru.
The day after I arrived I started an intensive Spanish course: 4 hours a day one-to-one... thank God it works, otherwise I would have been left with Lourdes as the only other option :-) I already feel much more confident with working in South America.
The school is very cool too. It's an NGO that helps single mums (which is a no no no here). The girls go through zillions of hours of training and it shows because they are impeccable and unbelievably knowledgeable. I do 2 hours of grammar in class but the practice is done walking around and in museums and my teacher proved to be an amazing guide too. She seems to know everything from the political skeletons in the country's closet to the techinques used in the textile industry.
By the way, did you know Chile stole half of its territory to Peru, promised to give it back and never did?
I still have lessons this week and then I'm off to Lake Titicaca first and then to Bolivia.
I have applied for voluntary work in Chile as it seems to me that the most active UNESCO and Amnesty are the ones in Santiago, but UNESCO replied that even though I am a self-financing volunteer I should go through the UN vol. process, which is ridiculously long. They also said they don't need volunteers at the moment, so I guess it would be pointless anyway.
No news from Amnesty yet, but if they don't need me I will try Amnesty in Buenos Aires (which would be my absolute favourite, as I fell in love with BA when I went a few years ago, but I felt guilty applying there first just because I love the city). If Amnesty is not meant to be I will pick a local organisation (at that point definitely in BA).
I would prefer an international organisation to see how they work compared to the local ones.
It would also be good to have in my CV a name known in Europe too, but if it's not possible no big deal I'll pick a local one.
So working time is planned around mid Sept till March I think. We shall see if the gods are on my side. I do feel like working again though, which seems a good start :-)
As you can see from the photos, I have already been to Machu Picchu. What can I say? One of the most spectacular site I have even seen. Pictures or postcards do not do it any justice though, so please plan to go and see it at some point if you haven't already, it's soooooooo worth it!
Right I'm off doing my Spanish homework now...the days of "I am sorry I have forgotten my exercise book at home" are long gone...