|Posted by Gary & Lynette Landy on November 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM|
Today we received a wake up call at 7am as we needed to be up & ready to go by 9am.
We began our day by doing a tour of part of the Scared Valley of the Incas by visiting Inca ruins, very similar to Machu Picchu but slightly higher up the mountains that surround the 91Klm valley we are in. The ruins are so spectacular that they defy words. At the ruins we all had the option of being guided to the top or by guided around at ground level. Given the issues I have been having with the lack of oxygen I remained at ground level however, Gary opted to climb up, along with majority of our tour group. The views that Gary saw & hence photographed made me wish I had been able to make the climb. I will have to wait until we return Home to post all our photos as I can't seem to work out how to so it for. My iPad!
After spending an hour at these ruins we headed to a school that is assisted by The Scenic Group. The school takes students from the age of 6, which is kindergarten level, up to 14. After the age of 14 children have the option of attending secondary school. Primary school is compulsory & in order to encourage parents to send their children the Government funds breakfast & subsidises a light lunch. School hours are 8am until 1:30pm. After school children return home to assist Mum & Dad with field work....perhaps guide the bullock plough, plant seeds, harvest crops etc. There is no time for playing!
Every Scenic tour that has time in the Sacred Valley will visit one of the two schools that Scenic have an involvement with. Some schools (the pretty ones) in the Valley will get up to 20 tour visits a week, whereas the two schools Scenic are involved with only get visits & hence assistance from Scenic. As part of the cost of our trip, included was an amount of money which Scenic use to purchase items for these schools. Each year these two schools provide Scenic with a "wish list". This visit our donation supplied flour, oils, cans of tuna & other food items needed for the lunches provided. We had the opportunity to contribute further earlier, which enabled our Tour Director to purchase treats for the kids. So the money from our group meant that all the children, about 50, to receive a bag that included 3 pieces of fruit, a bread roll, a biscuit, couple of lollies & a drink. The look on these kids faces was priceless when given their "bags".
At one point we all formed a circle with the children to do the "hokey pokey". Whilst moving to position myself in the circle, a young girl, about 11, raced over & grabbed my hand. She was fascinated with my nail polish. Given that she was so taken with the polish I asked the teacher if I could give her a tube of lip gloss...that was ok & the response I got from doing this very simple thing was truly heart warming. The smile, hug etc certainly made it well worthwhile.
The visit to this school would have to have been the highlight of the tour so far.
It was then back to our sumptuous hotel for a rest for me before a group dinner. Gary however decided to walk the 2 blocks to the town square where a festival was underway. The varied native costumes were stunning. The festival was on as a celebration of a 107 year anniversary.
All in all a bloody fantastic day.
Categories: 2012 - South America