Clarksville Academy - Promoting Academic Excellence, Moral Integrity, Physical Growth, and Civic Responsibility

Peru 2018: Day 3

“The difference between the possible and impossible lies in the determination of the individual.”  – Tommy Lasorda

Day three was mostly a travel day. It was a crazy day based on very early wake up call, long travel lines, overweighted suitcases (which made for a few good laughs), a couple people not feeling well and a hard travel agenda to fulfill.

We left Lima to fly to Cuzco, Peru’s most popular city for tourism. So that one can fully understand the challenges we had to face we exchanged a desert for the mountains. Warm to cold temperatures. Nice climate to cold and wet climate. An elevation of perhaps 500 feet above sea level to an elevation in the Andes mountains of 12,000 feet. A capital city to villages. A city whose primary language is Spanish to an area of Peru whose native language of the Incas called Quechua still dominates.

The Andes Mountain Range is spectacular. It’s considered the longest mountain range in the world and also the second tallest. Only the Himalayas are taller. Today we will be in a city that is higher in elevation than most have ever explored. Potential issues…..altitude sickness which consists of nausea, splitting head aches, vomiting, shortness of breath and perhaps others as well. Altitude sickness does not discriminate.

After we arrived to Cusco we took a long bus ride to an area called the Sacred Valley. Here we ate lunch and I think before we finished our meal, most people who are keeping up with us through social media knew what was served. Yes….it is true…..most students chose to eat Alpaca and most tried guinea pig which is called Cuy (koo-we) and it happens to be a delicacy here. Regardless of whether the student liked it or not I am so proud they wanted to try things outside their norms.

We also visited a hacienda to learn about native artistic designs made out of clay. While we were all exhausted and a little nervous due to the radical altitude differences, my students were attentive and engaged into the lessons learned about this artistic style. They had the chance to meet and talk with a very famous Peruvian artist called Pablo Seminario who has been featured all around the world for his artistic brilliance. Once the tutorial was completed we all were able to sit and with the proper assistance of some professional artists, we were able to design and paint our own clay tile. For a little more than an hour students sat in complete relaxation and designed a wonderful clay tile based on traditional Native designs and original thoughts.

We finally made it to our hotel which was beautifully hidden in the Andes and sits along a magnificent white water river, called the chocolate river due to the fact that it’s the rainy season here and soil is filling the river giving it a chocolate milk appearance. The sounds of the river relaxed us all and we quickly were able to fall asleep.

Before I dismissed the students for bed checks we discussed that many times in life in order to find true moments of peace and relaxation one must first go through the chaos. The difference between those who succeed and fail is often left up to a decision and their determination to succeed. No doubt about it….today was a mental challenge and I am so glad to have experienced it with 25 other champions.

Until next time. Pura Vida