Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola Review (9)
A leisurely excursion into the mountains….
And then we went straight back to the mountains… This time a slightly different excursion, with my host mom and her friends. We spent a very cozy weekend. Really lived in the country, as I know it from home. Horses, sheep, guinea pigs, a lot of nature and a family who manage the house, farm and guest care super, made this weekend something special. The boss of the farm is a German who fell in love with her current husband at the age of 20 as a backpacker in Peru. She warned me that something like this would happen very quickly.
In the morning, gymnastics in the large garden was on the program, in the afternoon we could listen to a reading by a famous author, take a short trip into the area or enjoy the great atmosphere of our accommodation.
For lunch there was pachamanca – a Peruvian national dish.
Pachamanca is made up of various meats, vegetables and potatoes and is cooked in an earth oven with fire-heated stones. It cooks underground for a while before it is eaten. The ritual is ancient and is still often prepared as a feast today. Mmmmhhhhh, riquísimo!
Now the university was important again! Intermediate exams were in front of the door, so it was all over again: drums, drums, drums! Fortunately, the weekly queries mean that you are already very well prepared and you don’t have to start everything from scratch. The days and times of my exams were a bit unusual. Four exams – one of which was on a public holiday, two on a Saturday and the last from 8-10 p.m. in the evening. Fortunately, I got through it well. Even though I was always on the move a lot on the weekends and learning was often not my top priority, I am very satisfied with my results.
Interim exams – that also meant: half time in Lima! Time flies by in an instant and although it’s still a few weeks until I’m back home, I almost see myself sitting in my own living room again.
After the exams, we immediately rewarded ourselves at the Oktoberfest in Lima. It wasn’t a beer festival as we know it, but at least we had the opportunity to eat veal sausage, pretzels and apple strudel again… That was good!
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Adventure in Cusco
Always these stressful journeys… By three o’clock in the morning I finished my university assignments, ordered a taxi to the airport and took off with my final destination Cusco.
Suddenly the time had come… I fell in love! For a man, however, I am not staying in Peru but because of Cusco. A cozy city, breathtaking surroundings and nice people – what more could you want?
This tour was also organized by one of my courses at the university. At the beginning about 20 students registered who wanted to go along. In the end, we were then four students + professor! However, it didn’t matter at all that we were so few. We hardly knew each other before and were a great group from day one!
When we arrived, we went to three different churches. After that we drove to an interesting, secluded place. A kind of “day care center” was maintained there. We were told that after school the kids usually have to walk for a while before they get there. In the afternoon they have a program such as various games, doing homework, handicrafts, sports, etc.
In the evening we went to the old town together, which is just so beautiful. Suddenly it started pouring rain, but even then we had our fun. Suddenly a woman came and saw that we needed rain ponchos. Then we ran through the streets like colorful birds until we found a café. Within 10 minutes, everything outside was actually flooded. The water came out of the manhole covers and I had a puddle in my shoes. By the way, after three months that was my first real rain here in Peru. There is no such thing in Lima, there is usually only a pinch of moisture here.
Now we were all excited about the second day… We went to Patabamba. A village in the mountains. A long day of hiking awaited us there. The way there in the jeep was cruel. The curves were unpredictable, the sides went down steeply. Our driver did not brake in front of the bends, just pressed the horn.
When we arrived in the small pueblo, we were told by the residents that they have been trying to develop tourism in Patabamba for about 7 years. 140 families live there. 14 of them work in tourism. The rest of the population lives exclusively from agriculture, mainly potatoes and maize are grown. The residents offer overnight accommodation in their own houses, but they still lack the “know-how”. So far only a few tourists come every month. Language is of course also a problem. 80% speak only the original language Quechua and only 20% speak Spanish.