August 29

Good news! I am getting over my altitude sickness. I haven’t really been able to eat much for the last few days and only tea and juice for breakfast. Today I was able to eat both the soup and some of the segundos (seconds) at lunch. This is a definite improvement over two days ago when I couldn’t even finish the soup.
My class has two people in it and we have our test of the week tomorrow. We have Friday off because Thursday is a holiday but the school decided to make it a long weekend instead. Unfortunately no one signed up for the salsa class so I’m going to an art show at the Temple of the Sun with a new friend instead.

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First Day of School

I finally started classes at La Academia! The walk to school is about 40 minutes and I think that my main expense will be the bus ride home. It is .6 soles but if I do that twice a day it can really add up. However, the exchange rate is about $2 to 5 soles so it is ok. I met the four other new students, two from the States, one from Brazil, and one from Britain! I also talked with some other students during break.

The way our classes work is that we do one course for four weeks, four hours a day. We change teachers each week in the language class. One benefit of this system is that we get home for lunch and have the afternoon free (if we have the morning schedule).

There are salsa classes this week- definitely going to that.

August 23

I met my host father, Ronal, outside of the airport yesterday morning and we went home to a breakfast of fruit, bread, and fresh juice. I met Sonia, the maid, and two students from France who have been here for almost six weeks and will be leaving on Saturday. Ronal lets me talk in English a little but Maria Luisa, my host mother, has me talking in Spanish pretty much all the time. Sonia only speaks Spanish and we can communicate pretty well. I was doing some origami yesterday to pass the time and now it looks like I will be teaching some of the pieces to my family! Today I started a bracelet for Sonia and I found out that Maria Luisa also does stitching. I showed everyone my cross stitch project and they were very impressed at the details and how small it was.
The altitude takes some getting used to, so I have been relaxing at home since I arrived. My second piece of luggage came through this morning and I was very glad for that. Tomorrow I will visit the main square and get to know the city a little better.

August 22 AM

I think I’m getting used to airports. I’m not so worried when my first flight is late, or a bag gets lost in transit (just one, the other came through). Peruvian security is not near as bad/serious as American security. Also, if you know what you’re doing and understand the numbers you can pretty much get through any airport without knowing the language. The only difficulty is customs but when you come through at one in the morning and there is practically no line people are pretty helpful. Also, it helps that Lima has a smaller airport. I am looking forward to meeting my host family and seeing Cusco!