After three flights through Sao Paulo, Lima and arriving in Cusco, we were ready for our week-long Andean adventure. Nine teachers from all over the UK and two intrepid Camps International employees had landed in the historic capital of the Incan Empire ready to experience all that Peru had to offer, guinea pig and Inca Kola included! At the airport we were met by ever helpful and knowledgeable Adriana and Pao, the Camps staff in Peru who would be our guides for the week and whisked off to our hostel for our two nights in Cusco.
The aim of the week was for the group to experience the various components of the longer summer expedition. Those components included; transport, accommodation, food, clinics, culture and most importantly the projects. The project work we took part in at Camp Caylloma was, perhaps, the highlight of the week for the group. We worked on plastering the walls of future class rooms. It was a real team effort and gave everyone a good idea of what can be achieved in a short space of time with a bit of teamwork.
Amongst my favourite locations we visited was Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is a vast, deep lake that boarders Peru and Bolivia. It’s so vast that it is the biggest lake in South America and in Andean belief, Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun. A fact lost on a few of our group who neglected to apply sun cream before our boat journey on the lake! We were privileged to spend some time with one of the many families who have made their home on man-made islands of totora reeds. The head of the family explained how the islands were made and how the families survived and thrived on the islands. A fascinating experience.
Overall the Peru recce was an excellent week for all involved. It is amazing how much can be squeezed to a week when it is well-planned and executed by hard working staff and teachers. The teachers’ preparedness for the summer expedition is greatly increased as the knowledge and experience they have gained will stand them in great stead.