Without the exact details of my daily routine in Cusco, it may appear that it doesn’t differ much from a typical day for an average person in the States. I woke early in the morning. I ate a quick breakfast. Took a cab to “work”. Fulfilled my on-the-job duties. Left for lunch. Came back to work after lunch. Continued with my “duties”. Took a cab home. Talked about my day with the family. Had dinner and soon after went to bed.

Now, here are the details: I woke up to a view of the huge Peruvian skies and crisp mountain air. I ate a delicious breakfast that always included a freshly made papaya smoothie made by Mama Greta. I walked down the street to catch a cab while seeing, smelling, hearing, experiencing things I never had before and more than likely wouldn’t ever again. I learned. I arrived at Hogar where I was greeted by children who were genuinely happy to see me and appreciated what I was doing and why I was there. I walked home for the most delicious lunch I had had since the day before! I walked back to the orphanage. I learned some more. I shared with other volunteers and travelers from around the world. I Made life-long friends. I talked to, played with, and learned from the kids. I took another cab home, experienced more, and learned some more. I talked, laughed, learned, taught, ate, drank, and enjoyed the family during another delicious dinner.

It was scary. It was beautiful. It was difficult and it was easy. It was exciting. It was strange. It was fun, even when it was boring. It was exhaustively awesome. It was sensory overload. It was an adventure. It was the best experience of my life. And that was on a normal workday. The “extracurricular” activities were indescribable. The words “Machu Picchu”, say it all!

I have every intention of experiencing it again. Next summer in June 2012, I will be spending a month in Ecuador with ABV and I have every hope that /IT/ will be the best experience of my life!

Brenda F****o
Cusco, Peru