RSIS - Peru 2015 Blog
Update five: 10th August
It’s has been an amazing two weeks in beautiful Peru but today is departure day.
The team successfully completed work on two Guinea Pig stables and the Apulaya team joined them to perform a traditional blessing ceremony with lots of traditional music, costumes and confetti.
The absolute highlight of the trip: climbing the Inca city of Machu Picchu. The city itself is a sprawling network of palaces, plazas, temples and homes. The ruins lie on a high ridge, surrounded on three side by the Urubamba River nearly 2,000 feet below.
It’s easy to appreciate the Inca’s ability to master their terrain. The site’s buildings, walls, terraces, and ramps dig into the steep mountainous landscape and make the city blend naturally into the rock on which it is situated.
We had the opportunity to climb the Machu Picchu Mountain, which is located south-west of the citadel and stands at over 10,007 feet above sea level. The mountain trek offered us breath taking views of the city and its surroundings.
Our fitness was challenged as we followed the original stone Inca Trail but it was well worth it! Wooden signs marked out way ahead with the trail inclining about 30-35 degrees. We had to sign in at the Wardens Hut and show our passports. As we approached the base of the mountain, the steps became steeper, narrower and more challenging.
We were quite literally on top of the world when our team reached the summit!
Update four: 5th August
The team are having a wonderful time in Peru, you can listen to some of their best bits so far below:
This is Peru
Every place on Earth is fascinating and unique, but Peru is one of those countries that manage to stand above the crowd. As a country it has so many natural and cultural treasures that have fascinated people for hundreds of years, and still fascinates them today.
The team have been enjoying their Peruvian adventure and immersing themselves in the country’s rich history and culture.
Camping and Village Life
The team have been camping in the rural village of Yuncachimpa. Although the village has only very basic facilities the local families have been warm and accommodating which has offered the team an incredible cultural experience.
It’s always interesting to meet new people and to experiment new cultures, but Peruvians make this act an even more interesting and enjoyable experience. Many Peruvians still have a direct link with their Inca ancestors, proudly conserving the Quechua culture that is so important to Peru’s past.
The villagers are hard workers, extremely polite, peaceful, helpful, and curious about the interest in their visitors. Many of them have never travelled out of the country or even out of their cities or villages. Sharing stories with them makes for an interesting learning experience about the country and about their tales.
Nearly a week and half into their trip, friendships have definitely developed. All members of the team have worked well together, keeping spirits high and making time fly by.
Update three: 3rd August
Goodbye to the Leadership Students
Leadership students have successfully led the team through their first week on the project and are now back in Cusco awaiting departure.
“Myself, Chad and the Leadership students are safely back in Cusco after an amazing time in the community. De-brief time this afternoon and last supper tonight. Everyone in team two on great form and having a wonderful time” Liz Grey, Projects Support Manager.
The team in Peru are now four days into their project work and construction is coming along nicely. The team are working well together utilising skills such as teamwork and communication.
At the end of the build the Apulaya team will perform a traditional blessing ceremony and the whole team will celebrate a job well done with costumes and lots of music.
Update two: 31st July
The team have enjoying their time in Peru. The adventures begun with a gentle visit to the Music and Arts Centre while the students adjusted to being 1,000ft above sea level.
Music and Arts Centre
An excited team stated their adventure in earnest with a cultural visit to the Apulaya Cultural Centre. Students tried their hands at traditional instruments including panpipes and drums and discovered the importance of music in festivals and celebrations in Andean culture.
Zip lining and Via Ferrata
The team traveled to the Sacred Valley near the town of Ollantaytambo for a day of adrenaline pumping zip lining! The team climbed the mountain using the Via Ferrata and then zoomed around on zip lines.
The Via Ferrata is a steel ladder and cable system used to climb up the 300 meter cliff face. A combination of harnesses and a double-carabineer system were used for maximum security.
Welcome to Narmeen!
The team welcomed the safe arrival of Narmeen, who traveled through thick and thin to join the team in Peru. Round Square is very impressed with this young ladies positive attitude and determination.
The team are now in the village of Yuncachimpa which is located just outside of Cusco inside the Huarocondo district. There are only 45 families (around 200 people) living in the village and the facilities are rather rustic, with no internet, no Facebook and minimal electricity. So we are unlikely to receive any more updates until the team arrive in Aguas Calientes in 8 days’ time.
Continuing the work
Team two are busy picking up where Team one left off under the guidance and leadership of the Leadership Students.
The team are working well together to build a wall around the school compound and another guinea-pig stable for the community. These guinea-pig stables are really important as they enable to community to rear the animals away from their homes and in a more hygienic manner.
It’s pretty messy business as the team are helping to mix mud to use as mortar between the bricks and helping to render the walls with a coat of – yes you guessed it – mud!
Due to the remote nature of this project it has been very difficult to get regular updates or photos from the team in Peru. But we have received phone calls from the team assuring us that everyone is safe, happy and enjoying themselves. As soon as we receive an update or any photos from the team we will post to the blog and notify all parents.
Update one: 27th July
All team members who were scheduled to arrive today have now arrived safely in Cusco, Peru. The team are looking forward to welcoming the remainder of the team who are due to arrive over the next few days.
Welcome, to the RSIS Per 2015 blog for team two. We will keep you up to date with the team’s progress as they undertake this amazing life experience. We will email you periodically throughout the project with updates and links to the blog.
All team members who were scheduled to arrive today have now arrived safely in Cusco, Peru. Team two were greeted by Leadership students Dawson, Youngyun, Sylvia, Kira and Flora. The Leadership students were part of team one and have stayed on in Peru for an additional week to lead team two in the first week of project work.
Everyone is spending the day resting after the long flight and getting to know each other. In total there are 19 students and three adults in the team. Students have come from far and wide including Australia, Jordan, Germany, England, Denmark, America, Canada, Thailand, India and Kenya. Everyone has been getting to know each other via Facebook before the trip but it’s always good to finally put a face to a name!
It’s early to bed tonight because it’s a busy day tomorrow with team briefings and their first taste of Peru.
Happy birthday Imogen!
Arrivals day was also Imogen's 17th birthday! So the other team members got her a cake and a woolly Peruvian hat to celebrate!
The five Leadership students gathered with the adult Leaders to plan and strategize the next few days to ensure smooth sailing.
Just a reminder that students are not permitted to use their mobile/cell phones while on the trip.
In case of emergency
Round Square operates a 24-hour on call service. In the unlikely case of an emergency the project team will notify the on-call team immediately who will then notify parents with full details.
Click the link below to see your full itinerary on Travefy. This itinerary has been built to offer you time to acclimatize to the altitude, develop skills and to absorb the diverse and rich culture Peru has to offer.