May 2, 2004 Sunday - Cusco
Today we did a lot of fun things with the kids. First we to them to the Plaza de Arms to see the parade. The parade was wonderful. music from an army band, flags, and a lot of marching. I think the kids really enjoyed it. After the parade we went to mass. Although I am not Catholic and don't speak very much (any) Spanish, I still found the service to be an experience worthwhile. After a quick snack we all paired up with the kids again to go to "Sacsayhuman" (sexy woman). Getting there was quite a hike. Several people found it to be very challenging while I, who had been training to hike the Inca Trail, found it to be good start. We did take several breaks along the climb so that people could rest and catch up to the group. I'd say the biggest challenge was making sure all the kids were there and accounted for. Once we reached our destination the kids had a blast! Evidentially, "Sacsayhuman" is a large rock formation that from a distance looks like a woman lying on her side in a sexy pose. The reason the kids had so much fun is that the rock is slippery and makes for the best natural slides you've ever seen. And of course even with all of the repeated sliding and climbing the kids still had plenty of energy to hop, skip, and jump their way back to the Hogar. All that can really be said or needs to be said is. these kids are amazing! Despite all of their troubles and hardships, they smile, laugh, and love through it all. We've only been here for two days and already it's been the trip of a lifetime. I wish everyone could experience this. The sympathy you have for the kids upon first sight. but then this overwhelming feeling of love once you realize how much rich these kids are in the things that matter the most. love, joy, and friendship.At night we talk about duties for tomorrow and goals we have for ourselves to accomplish while we are here. I'm nervous. tomorrow we really go work helping all the kids get ready for school, etc. I am doing the babies tomorrow and I am very nervous that I will foul up in some way. not having been around many babies or having had any of my own. Although I am nervous I am confident that I'll do well and find my way through. Madre Conseula is wonderful and she makes me feel as though I can do anything.