Sound asleep and cocooned in 4 heavy Peruvian blankets, the sound of my alarm sent me leaping from bed. 4:45am. Must have been a mistake. Back to bed! But as I laid my head down again I could hear Carly moving upstairs above me and knew I wasn’t dreaming. Today was the day that we would finally see Machu Picchu. Is this really part of my job? Not only do I get to work with over 100 amazingly talented, sweet and motivated young girls, but I have the chance to experience Machu Picchu for the first time with a group of our high school seniors. With that thought in my head, I was up and moving.
We arrived to Aguas Calientes (the town where Machu Picchu is located) at around 10am to find our girls and a few teachers waiting patiently for us in the plaza. We said hello and exchanged kisses and then it was an excited rush to check into the hostel and make our way up to Machu Picchu! The short, 20 minute bus ride to the top was coated with an excited frenzy. This was not just Carly and my first time visiting Machu Picchu, it was the first time for most of our girls and it was amazing that we would have the opportunity to experience it together.
The bus left us at the entrance and we made our way in. I’m not sure about the other girls, but I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time. We rounded a corner, cameras ready, and there it was. The most majestic site I have ever seen in my life! Pictures cannot capture it. The smiles were contagious. I don’t think I’ve ever watched such photo sessions. We must have stopped at every corner to capture a student posing in front of the glorious Huayna Picchu. You know what’s pretty entertaining about high school seniors? It’s no longer “cool” to smile in photos. They were striking poses at every corner and so naturally Carly and I wanted to join in the modeling shoot! Evidence below:
I hope that between the modeling, they really took a moment to take in the inspirational scene. Being given the opportunity to visit a place that you have dreamt about your entire life, who wouldn’t be inspired? I could have stared at the ruins forever and from the fascinated and, well… modelesque faces of our girls, I like to think they felt the same.
I learned a lot that trip, and not just about Peru’s history and Machu Picchu and modeling. We bonded with the girls on a deeper level. We were more than just coaches or teachers, we provided them the opportunity to see an important part of their history that lies only 57 miles from their home. While the smiles may not have been captured on camera, our modeling Chicas Dinamicas had a great time, and so did we!