W.O.W. must stand for Wonders Of World because all anybody could say as we walked around in awe of Machu Picchu’s beauty was WOW! Our day began with a bus ride along the Incan trail and up a mountain to the hidden city of the Inca. Our local guide Paolo acted as official tour guide since it was nearly his 50th time visiting the ruins. Upon our arrival we split into two groups and linked up with a guide to lead our way.
Group 2 who won the previous night’s odd-talent show got to proceed into Machu Picchu first thanks to Harrison’s toe tricks, and Joey’s acrobatics. Group 1 followed shortly after and made a quick stop upon the perfect stonework ledge to snap pictures. Rachel G, Chelsea, and Mandy went for the artsy pictures where they posed arm in arm looking out over Machu Picchu as Daniel snapped a photo of their backs. Josh was all over the scenic photographs until Ben offered to take a picture for him so he could actually be in one!
Group 2 was no longer in view as they made their way through the ruins. Gavin and Miles did not want to waste any time before making it all the way to the highest point in Machu Picchu. Julie and Anna followed shortly behind them while making sure to grab every perfect picture in the process. Emily fell in love with the archways of Machu Picchu and made sure to find the perfect one for a photo opportunity.
The day could not have gotten any better, until… both groups reunited at the end of our Machu Picchu tour and formed one unified line to complete the Westcoast Connection dance “move” of the summer. TD Alexis led one side of the ensemble while trip member Jordan F. took the lead on the other side as our group danced proudly in Peru at one of the most wonderful places in the world.
As if a visit to Machu Picchu wasn’t beautiful enough, trip members got to spend some time relaxing in the hot springs of Aguas Calientes before departing the town for Puno. Everyone had a blast and felt refreshed and ready to jump back into service in the town of Puno.
Our arrival in Puno brought with it some pleasant surprises. As it seemed our tourist van caught the attention of two teens (David and Sam) that were staying in the community we were completing service in. Leah was thrilled when she discovered that David was also from Atlanta and knew of the best vacation spots that she knew about.
Our trip members were invited to spend time with the host family of David and Sam where we played games with the kids. The relay race game led to much competition. Charlie was determined to make it to the middle and retrieve the clementine before anyone else could and he accomplished that task. Jenna was our proud winner of round two, and Julia was the winner of round three!
After games we took time to teach the kids about washing their hands and how important it is for personal hygiene. Jordan C. and Rachel W. assisted by helping display a sign with step by step directions for washing hands, while Annie used her tremendous Spanish speaking skills to tell the kids to “lavas los manos on jabon (wash your hands with soap)” A day of service is always a great one, but a day of playing, helping, and meeting new friends made for an awesome day!
Now all that’s left is to see what other surprises may come our way!
The Westcoast Blogger