I am having so much fun surrounded by all this Spanish. It´s insane. Unfamiliar words are everywhere and I wish I was able to pluck a few more from the whizzing blur.
Today we loaded the bus at 7 am and drove up the winding dirt road to Salkantay. About half way up, the bus had to stop because of rocks in the road and since it was so steep, we all had to get out and walk up the rest of the hill where the bus could stop and then start again with all of us in it. By the time I had trekked up the 50 yards, I felt like I was going to pass out. I didn´t think I was that out of shape but I guess that´s what 12,000 feet will do to you.
The village of Salkantay is small and primative, although over the past five years things have started to improve. Jaime is a Peruvian and is in charge of a group called Eagle Condor which has been working very hard to improve the lives of natives living in poor villages in Peru. I have been so impressed and inspired by him and the work he is doing. I want to do more, to be more involved and to work hard to finish my degree and learn the things that will help me to be effective in helping these people. I shoveled rocks today. Lots of rocks. And then I sat in a muddy pit where a water line was leaking and shoveled mud. It was hard work, but the ideas and designs that we are working toward are going to make a big difference.
Around noon we couldn´t do anything else without more supplies from Cusco so Jaime and I and a few others went down to see what we could find. What an experience. We found a tiny metal shop with scraps of metal and things everywhere and Jaime was able to explain what we needed. Hopefully tomorrow we´ll be able to get more accomplished.