It is field trip season for GirlSportWorks this month. Inspired by our trip with Santoni, we offered the girls from Los Nogales an adventure outside their regular sports class last week. After securing entrance passes from the Ministry of Education, we took a van-load of Los Nogales girls on a day trip to the ruined fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The girls spent the drive to the famous Incan site singing to the radio and discussing the history and landscape of Sacsayhuaman with great anticipation.
Resting on top of the northwest corner of the mountain chain that surrounds the valley of Cusco, Sacsayhuaman is a masterpiece of living history. The complex was destroyed by Spanish conquerers and its stones dismantled to construct their new buildings in the city below. Today, all that lasts of Sacsayhuaman are the stones too large to be transported down the mountainside. Nevertheless, there remains an impressive display of Incan stonework, where enormous stone boulders were precisely cut to fit together perfectly without mortar. It is said that a single piece of paper would not fit between most Incan stones.
We were certainly awed by the site, and the girls quickly became enthralled with the stones for another non-historical reason. On one corner of the campus we discovered gigantic stones that had been weathered down over the centuries into what the girls decided were the epitome of naturally-made slides. The Los Nogales girls took to the rock slides with gusto — Nohemi slid down at least two dozen times — and we were delighted to see the glee on their faces.
Touring the ruins also provided the girls the opportunity to practice some of what they’ve learned in our English classes. When we encountered other visitors to Sacsayhuaman, the girls eagerly pipped up in English, “Good afternoon! Where are you from?” And one of our bolder students, Cindy, led the girls in putting into practice questions such as, “What is your name?” and “Want to take a picture?” They won the hearts of many a tourist that day.
The enthusiasm and gratitude that the girls expressed for their trip to Sacsayhuaman warmed our hearts. We are overjoyed that we could provide our students with the opportunity to explore an aspect of their history and culture, and all the while exhibit the youthful fun and energy we love to see in sports class. Field trip number two was a sure success!