Last Day in Cusco

By Farah Ahmad – Guest Blogger from Cusco SALUD
The last two nights have been really fun (but long nights) out dancing with some of the people from school and people we've met during our time here. I feel like I'm supposed to take a moment here to reflect on my whole experience. But I'm not sure I can just sum it all up that easily. It's been a great experience but at the same time I'm kind of ready to leave. I think one of the things that I really liked about spending my time in Cusco is that it's a really manageable size and also is a city that many people only use as a stopover for Machu Picchu. However, there's a lot of great history here and tons of things to do. I'm not sure what Lima is going to be like…but it also seems like people here (maybe because Cusco is not as a big a city) are more open to sitting in the plaza talking to random people they meet about their life etc. I DEFINITELY have an easier time understanding my host family's Spanish compared to their cousins who are here from Lima.
Continuing on with my reflections… I definitely have improved with my Spanish. It's funny thinking that when I was flying here, I was cramming numbers into my head on the flight over just so I would be able to understand what someone would tell me in terms of price; And now I'm on to learning about the subjunctive imperfecto (By no means do I actually remember it without glancing at my notes right now!) I've also learned a lot about culture from each of my five different teachers. Including some about Bolivia as my current teacher is from the Bolivia partner school. I have a long way to go but I feel better about having a stronger foundation to now continue to build vocabulary on top of. And at least now I will no longer be in the beginner class when I head back to my medical Spanish class at med school!
Overall, I've met some interesting people. I've also seen beautiful mountains that leave me convinced that I need to build more time into my life at home for hikes and just appreciating the natural beauty that you can't find in cities. It's been a great experience. Definitely one that will continue to shape my future education and travels!

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