Friday, February 27th: Day 29

Exactly 4 weeks ago today, I left home and embarked upon a journey that has changed me for the better. I have grown up a lot in these four weeks: I have seen ancient runs, taken selfies with alpacas, gone grocery shopping, over-come (to an extent) a sufficient language barrier, fallen in love with the children here, made horrible and great life decisions, laughed until I cried, simply just cried, missed my mom while crying, contracted a parasite, boated across the highest lake in the world, made a wonderful life friend, been sunburned to my bones, and taken over 2,000 pictures. My adventure here is just beginning, yet this place feels like home. Therefore, in honor of my one month anniversary, here are some fun facts about Cucsco, Peru.

Fun facts about Cusco:

1.There are always “fireworks” going off. At night, in the morning, etc.

2. If you are white and blonde (aka: me) you will be offered a “free massage y pedicure y manicure” a billion times a day. Apparently we are assumed to love that stuff.

3.Altitude: it makes you sick, makes you feel incredibly out of shape when walking, and gets you drunk easily

4.You can’t take pictures of kids with alpacas without paying (I try to do this sneakily all the time)

5.Cars will run you over. This is not a joke. This is life or death

6.They celebrate everything: Carnival, grandfather day, grandmother day, etc. There is oh so often a celebration

7.Kids (and adults) pee in the street very often. I have seen a few too many naked men.

8.As much as you want to and think they are the cutest things in the world, don’t pet the adorable stray dogs that are probably carrying diseases

9.You eat bread at every meal and it is both fattening and awesome

10.They don’t have milk very often, so you put yogurt on your cereal. This doesn’t sound too weird, but the other day I had milk and cereal and it was AWFUL because I have become so used to yogurt

11.The weather is like home sweet Oregon on steroids: it DOWNPOURS rain with the loudest thunder I have ever heard, then it is hot and sunny (and I’m getting sunburnt)

12.Everywhere offers “the menu” which is a full meal: often being some combination of a drink, soup, main course, and dessert for dirt cheap. I eat too much here.

13.Happy hour at almost all bars lasts basically all night. Drinks are around $3

14.Car alarms go off when it rains. They are not normal car alarms that just “beep…beep…beep” they have approximately 4 different noises, each goes off for 10 seconds, then it changes! If you watch How I Met Your Mother, think about the episode where they are waiting to get Lily’s wedding dress.

15.You will become addicted to Coca tea.

16.When it rains, the cobblestone roads become a slip-n-slide for your feet. It is embarrassing.

17.The culture is beautiful and fascinating

18.The city at night is breathtaking. Climbing up to any place that is slightly higher than Plaza level will leave you speechless

19.There is never a shortage of things to do here

20.The children are possibly the cutest things you will ever see.

Now I know some of these things may sound bad or like I’m complaining, but I am not. These are just the funny and wonderful quirks of Cusco that I have come to both embrace and love. Like any home, you love the good, bad, and the ugly.

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