March the 7th was a whirlwind of emotions and activities. Amelia and I woke up early, got ready for the day, and went down for our usual breakfast with the family. At breakfast we were told that the baby was sick with a fever, throat issues, and stomach pains. The town of Ollataytambo is amazing and filled with cute shops and great people but the only medical care there is consists of a little clinic. To say the least the medical care is not the best, which prompted Amelia and I to be very worried about the baby. After saying our goodbyes and wishing better health, we head to the school and worked until 1. The service that day consisted of finishing to move the cinderblocks and moving dirt. Though I did enjoy the service at times I did feel unproductive and wish we could have done something more interactive. After that day our service was complete and we all did a little victory dance for all of our hard work.
After the service we headed back to the house to find out the baby was even more sick. They were thinking about driving 2 hours to Cusco to get the baby better help. We ate a quick lunch only to head out for an activity similar to the Amazing Race. For the race we split up into groups, I was in a group with 5 other girls, Maddie, Amelia, Steph, Katie, and Mary Beth. The point of the activity was to complete 5 different challenges around the town and to get as many points as possible. To receive points you need to complete the challenges as best as possible, and as a group. At each activity you could receive up to three points (given with rubber bands). The activities consisted of a cooking challenge, a mini despacho ceremony, a dancing challenge, a spiritual ceremony, and an obstacle course. Each activity we did was more fun than the last and the whole time my group was giggling uncontrollably and had a great time. The “amazing race” was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Though super fun the race was super tiring and took up almost 4 hours. When Amelia and I finally did get home, we showered, and found that Anita and the baby had gone off to Cusco. Celestino (the dad) cooked us fried eggplant with cheese and rice. After eating I did not feel well but knew I needed to rest up for the big hike we had the next day.
Unfortunately, the cheese that I ate that night made me sick. Amelia, being an incredible friend and roommate stayed up with me all night We didn’t get much sleep and had our overnight hike the next day. The next day we explained to our group leaders and teachers about my sickness and lack of sleep but I decided to go on with the hike. The hike consisted of going up one of the surrounding mountains, and staying overnight. I did not feel well for most of the hike, but my classmates were really the ones who helped me through. Their support was what got me up that mountain. Alo took my backpack, Nic and Jordan stayed to talk with me the whole hike, and at different times the rest of the group asked me how I was and what they could do to help me. That hike was when I truly realized what community was, people who will carry your weight and do as many unselfish tasks as it takes to support someone else. I will never forget that feeling and hope I can find that in the rest of my life.
After many laughs and cries, I had finally made it up the mountain and was greeted with a beautiful scene. We enjoyed our time with games, talking, and just looking at the amazing scenery that surrounded us. The hike was one of my favorite parts of the trip and something that I will never forget.