Ali and I have been lucky to have been inundated with visitors over the last few weeks. As new arrivals in the city, they are meeting our chicas and exploring Cusco for the first time. All of their experiences are new and exciting, and they definitely view the city with a different lens than Ali and I do after living here for more than 10 months.
The visitors have come at an exciting, but crazy time in Cusco. June is a party month here, as they celebrate the anniversary of Cusco and Inti Raymi, the biggest festival of the year. For the last two weeks, Cusquenas have poured into the streets for countless religious processions. There are fireworks going off all night long and dancing in the streets late into the night. For Ali and me, this is always entertaining, but results in longer routes to get home to avoid the mobs and a bit of sleep deprivation from the endless music and fireworks blasting through our windows into the wee hours.
For us, June has caused a bit of a nuisance. Luckily our visitors have reminded us that Cusco is likely the most culturally rich place we will ever live. Every festival, procession, and firework is a celebration of where we live and the people we share this community with.
Our visitors have also reminded us how lucky we are to work with our chicas every day. Coming to class has been the favorite part of everyone’s visits. They receive endless love from the girls, but the part that makes Ali and me proud is the girls’ improvement in participation since last fall, regardless of whether a visitor is present. They are more engaged and excited for class, arrive on time, and behave better every day. Last year, they were always great when we had a special guest, but were a bit more challenging if Ali and I were teaching solo. In the past weeks, we have see no difference between a regular day and a day with a visitor, which means we’re doing something right!
In all, our guests have re-opened our minds to set the right tone for us to fully enjoy and take advantage of our last fifty days in beautiful Cusco with our incredible Chicas Dinamicas.