Sometimes it only takes two very special girls to show us how brave and strong we can be as individuals.
Little Miss 9 and her friend climbed the rock near to our hostel and I couldn't have been more proud.
And then, if that were not enough they clambered up over 200 steps to climb the mountain near to us in search of some caves.
Yes they were hot. Yes they were tired. Yes they wanted to give up. But they didn't.
And found the caves they did. Well done girls.
They definitely earned their ice-cream that day.
All in all a good day and the girls came away with a bunch of eucalyptus leaves in preparation for some crafting days ahead.
And I did learn one thing from this little adventure. As much as the view is super amazing from the top of the hills, there is no way I would ever want to live there. I couldn't imagine climbing up that many stairs every day!
Life is busy when you have a hostel, a family, work part time and teach. So in reality, something had to give.
I handed in my notice at the kid's school as I just couldn't find the time to commit to their teaching schedule. I found it difficult to plan lessons and when my kids fell ill, it was difficult to find a sitter for them. So with one less thing to do, I can concentrate on the more important things at hand.
I also made the choice to change the school my kids attended to one more local. No more fussing with taxis to school and back. My daughter is the only girl in her class and for a social butterfly, this is difficult for her to deal with. So I have opted to enroll her in the local girl's school near to our home. Yes it will be stricter, yes it will be yet another adjustment for her to make; however she has weighed up the pros and cons and decided that it will be the better choice for her.
For Master 3 I have decided to enroll him in the local daycare only 5 minutes away from our home so this will be another change for him as he is only just starting to adjust to life in a Spanish school and I am not sure how he will go without his big sister being there. We visited his new school and he seems happy for the most part, particularly with the trampoline in the middle of the playground. Sometimes it doesn't take much to keep them happy!
Time will tell.
The kids are enrolled in a Spanish school - I won't say they particularly love it but they don't hate it either. My daughter loves to go to see her friends but hates school (the learning part as a rule). We had the same issue with homeschooling although I am still supplementing when it comes to her education.
My 3 year old is a rebel and isn't a fan either but he goes because his sister goes so for the most part it is a good education in itself - even if they learn nothing.
I am able to monitor them once a week when I go to the school to teach English - once a week is plenty. There is no way I could teach any more than that - I find the process fairly tiring these days.
The kids are cute and all - but 6 classes a week is enough for me.
Friends come and friends go - and the only way to see them off in style is with a Pisco sour or two.
We spent a quiet New Year's Eve in Cusco. We went to El Molino market and checked out all the lucky yellow underwear and other traditional items they sell. I can honestly say you can have too much yellow underwear as this market was living proof of that! Wow - it was definitely a sight to behold.
Both kids were asleep before midnight but we woke them up to see the fireworks. Only Master 3 decided to stay awake for them; Little Miss 8 struggled to stay awake and was soon back in the Land of Nod.
She did enjoy her time with the sparklers however - Master 3 didn't like them at all. Maybe next year!
All the best to friends and family for 2014 and may you have an adventurous year!
I went to the post office today for a couple of reasons - to check our PO Box and to send a couple of Christmas cards and postcards. And I am sad to report they are seriously understaffed.
The main post office in Cusco had one person serving - one - and as it is December there is of course an increased number of people sending cards, presents, etc. And of course these people are in the same queue as businesses sending multiple parcels so unfortunately I had to leave before I was served as I had to head home to get the kids ready for their school visit.
Unfortunately the postal system has not proven itself to be secure - they have somehow mislaid 20 of our parcels - which is particularly bad considering those 20 parcels included English books, activity books and colouring books to keep the kids amused over Christmas. I just can't believe how terrible the system is!
We have been busy trying to find the kids a school to attend in March 2014 prior to the year end when the school holiday starts. And today we think we have found one.
There are a lot of schools in our local area although many do not have vacancies for a 3 or an 8 year old - both private and public surprisingly. Today we found a lovely little private school which can take both of our children - provided they pass the psychological testing they impose on them.
The school, currently within walking distance, is relocating to San Sebastian next year, however that is still relatively close to where we live. A school day starts at 8.30am ending at 1.00pm - it is hard to get used to the fact that the school hours in Peru are so short but I will definitely be enjoying my newfound freedom come March.
I may look to teach provided I can find suitable teaching hours otherwise I might just put my feet up for a bit and enjoy some much needed time away from the kids.
As much as I love my kids - I love being away from them. Bring on March!
We have been out and about socialising of late after meeting some lovely people at the The Meeting Place in San Blas. If you haven't been there I recommend it as the staff are very helpful and friendly and the food is delicious. So this Friday, Little Miss 8 is very happy to announce that she is having a sleepover and is counting down the days.
And Matt and I have been sneaking out for quiet coffees without the kids - yes you heard me right - without the kids. So far we have done it twice and it has been oh so enjoyable. We have been struggling to find some quiet time and while he has had a break in the routine, we managed to snatch some time here and there.
We have now connected to the world of technology through our satellite television so the kids are now enjoying watching tv in both spanish and english. We just need to get the internet connected and we are good to go!
We are possibly on the lookout for another apartment as we have had an invitation to share a large house with someone but whether that will happen - we will just wait and see.
Otherwise we are just hanging out, doing a bit of homeschool and waiting to see what the days will bring. At the moment a bit of rain but we can generally work around it.
Matt has a break in his teaching schedule (they get two days off each month) so it should be back to work tomorrow as normal once he gets his new timetable.
We had not graced the Plaza De Armas for quite a while so today we thought we would venture there for a break in our morning routine.
As our apartment is not located near any cupcake stores or bakeries we seemed to be having withdrawal symptoms so decided that our first stop would be our favourite cupcake store Catalina Menta. Once we had had our chocolate fix, we then headed to Jerusalen so I could do a quick book exchange (and I mean quick as my kids aren't exactly patient when it comes to things like this!)
While downtown we browsed a few shops, picked up a couple of bits and pieces and ventured to the Plaza for a bit of "people watching".
Master 3 was seemingly popular today getting a lot of stares and smiles from passerbys and Little Miss 8 was enjoying just hanging out and listening to whatever music is playing on her MP3 player these days.
As the day was sunny and we had no schedule as such, we spent an enjoyable morning just hanging out. Gotta love days like that!
It has been a week of just settling in, doing homeschool lessons and going to the park. We have a couple of parks within a 10-15 minute walk from us which have awesome slides for the kids so we try to go there each morning once Little Miss 8 has finished her schoolwork to give her a break.
As we don't have a television, we decided we had best do another dvd run to the market as we were running out of dvds to watch and I like to mix it up for the kids. I think they have seen Rio about 10 times since we have arrived in Cusco.
The next few weeks will be relatively quiet while we plan our visa run to Bolivia to extend our stay in Peru.
An interesting business scheme popped up onto our horizon but Matt is just weighing up the viable options until we commit to anything. Watch this space!
And even more exciting, the first of our international visitors is cementing some dates to come and see us - although it won't be until the middle of next year. So take this as an open invitation - you are welcome to come and visit us and we are happy to show you the sights. Of course you have to buy your own ticket to Cusco!!
Michelle - traveller, writer, mother, lover and friend.