Today was our second day of working with our families. Some of us were hard at work while others of us were hardly working. Grace, for example, woke up at 3am to make bread while Luke just stood and held a hose for a little while. A few examples of various tasks that we did were selling items in the market, preparing meals, and working on our family’s farms.
After a rewarding lunch, we meet at El Tambo and headed to a nearby school to participate in various activities with the local kids. These activities included teaching the kids to make bracelets, learning to dance the Marinera, playing soccer, and playing chess and other board games. Both of us played in a very competitive soccer game turned into basketball game for a solid two hours.
We then embarked on a journey to the most delicious part of our day, a chocolate museum, where we molded our own chocolate figures. We also learned about the process and history of the cacao bean – a chocolate lovers favorite plant.
After stuffing ourselves, we went back to El Tambo for our daily reunion. We also had a very special announcement. Tomorrow is a very special day for someone in our very special group. This day is even more special as it is the winter solstice here in Perú, and in the Incan ruins in Ollantaytambo, there is a special rock structure that, when the suns first rays break through the mountains, shines a direct light on a fountain, symbolizing the connection between the sun and earth gods through the sacred water. Oh, and by the way, it’s also Elena’s birthday tomorrow.