Good Comes with Bad and Ugly
So, I am more sick. Yesterday was pretty horrible. The sore throat has been joined by pretty bad congestion, runny nose, and a dry cough. All of these things can be symptoms of altitude… or at least exacerbated by it. But I was so miserable. Classes were impossible, especially because I learned hard things in both periods. I have a new and better teacher for my first period. But being so sick it was hard to pay attention, much less wrap my head around the ideas. God knows what either of them will have to say about my homework, which I got in both periods.
Also, at the end of my second period, I found out that neither Seanna or Elsbeth are going to come on the Salkantay Trail with me, so now I am going alone. With how bad I felt, this put me into tears. I don´t want to be alone for 5 days, but then, I thought I would be alone this whole time and have been blessed with their friendship. Also, there will be other people in the group. I am sure it will be okay, and there´s no way I am NOT doing the trail. But I seriously have to get healthy. I´m trying to sleep more and yesterday I found some medicine. Please send up some prayers.
I had some notion when I came down here that I would know for sure what I wanted to do by the time I got back. I would know for sure if I wanted to pursue coming back. I don´t think it is going to be so clear. I´m EXTREMELY glad I didn´t just quit my job and life and come down to volunteer through the school. I have definitely learned that I will need to make solid contact and plans with a volunteer organization. I am not really sure if I would come back to Cusco or not, but having never been to South America at all, this trip has been an invaluable experience. I have learned so so so much. I just don´t think it is going to be as easy as I had hoped.
One of the things that makes it so hard is the short time I am here. I mean, 3 weeks seems like forever when you are trying to get vacation from work and arrange things in your busy American life. But most of the people I have met down here are traveling for months. Volunteering is nearly impossible. All of the places want at least a week of commitment, which is entirely understandable. For some reason, I thought I would just be going to school for 4 hours in the morning and have the rest of the day. I underestimated the studying and large amount of time other things take. Not to mention wanting to sight see. Since I am really not sure I will return to Cusco, there´s no way I am not going to make that a priority. There´s so much to see and experience. If you think about it, the 5-day trail is a huge amount of time out of a 3-week trip. I saw some sights this weekend, but still haven´t made it to the local museums and such. I had to buy a 10-day general tourist pass that will be expired by the time I return from the trail. Also, it´s Holy Week and there are special events going on that I don´t want to miss. And lastly, I am sick, which really puts strain on it all as I was unable to do anything but sleep yesterday afternoon.
So the good comes with bad and ugly. My mother told me to try to have a few goals before I came. It´s easier said than done. This is South America afterall. You can´t plan on that much. And you don´t have any idea what situations you will face.
Basically, I only have volunteered two days, and I am really unsure how I will be able to do much more. I already spoke to the teacher who was helping me, and she said it is probably better to just continue returning to the clinic rather than try to see more places because I can´t commit to any others with the small amount of time I have left. But with me being so sick, I am a little afraid to return, not to mention all the other things I am juggling. (There´s a good chance the kids got me sick.) Learning Spanish while I am here is really important to me as well. One thing I think I have learned is that I need to volunteer more at home. That will show my inner self capabilities as much as volunteering here. People ask me a lot, ”Oh have you volunteered much at home?” and I can only say that I have been to a few soup kitchens and am involved in my church. But lets face it, I get paid to play music there.
So I have learned a ton, seen a ton, and had a ton of fun. But there are some disappointments as well. And much to think about. I need to eat breakfast and get my butt in gear for class.