The past few days in Arequipa have been more relaxing than eventful, which has been a nice change of pace. I’ve been able to stroll the streets, relax in the hotel’s amazing garden, and overall just take it easy.
I did see some of the sights as well. There is a beautiful and somewhat odd Monastery called Santa Catalina. It used to house very wealthy nuns and their slaves. Now 24 nuns live modest lives in this place and tourism helps them live here. The colors were gorgeous and there was the most beautiful viewpoint.
An interesting thing happened yesterday. I put a picture of my hotel’s garden on Facebook, and Doreen, who ran the volunteer organization I worked with in Guatemala, said to tell Armando here she says hello. Armando was my teacher the first day and the one who wanted to take me to photograph a school he works with. Turns out the school he asked to take me to is part of the same project I volunteered for in Guatemala. It’s definitely a small world.
So we went to the school today and The kids were ecstatic to have a visitor. They were so excited to show me everything and pose for pictures. Their excitement and energy was contagious! They were also adorable!
The school was very bare bones and not very structured but the kids did seem happy and seemed to be learning. They no longer have volunteers which I think is a shame after seeing how excited they were to have visitors. Unfortunately, we couldn’t spend too long there. I would have liked to stay all day.
It was also interesting being able to talk to Armando more. I feel like I’ve been able to get his perspective and opinions on the real Peru and Arequipa, beyond what the average visitor gets to see and it’s been very eye opening.
“Take it Easy” -The Eagles