Today we had a free day, since yesterday we woke up early and went to Paracus. I think we were all very grateful for the day off! At about 9:30am Brielle and I went down from our room and went down by the pool to see if anyone was up. We found a bunch of people and we all decided to hang out by the pool for a while. We all grabbed our computers and books and worked on some homework for a while, getting our assignments ready for our upcoming school week!
We eventually all went our separate ways for lunch. I went off with some people and we found a restaurant right near the principle square that had a very wide variety of options. The boys were very excited because they could get hamburgers at this place. Scott ordered a burger that had Doritos chips in the sandwich. I have found it a bit difficult being a vegetarian, however I have yet to go to my home stay and I’m sure it will be much easier then. I have gotten some strange reactions from servers in the restaurants when trying to order I feel like here the people do not understand the concept of vegetarianism the way it is understood in the Untied States because meat, chicken, and fish are such staples in the Peruvian diet.
We had a very interesting assignment to do this afternoon. We had to go around the square in groups of three and converse with the locals and find out the answers to a list of questions about Ica that Monica had given to us. I will admit I was completely intimidated by the assignment. It is hard enough to confront strangers in the US who speak the same language and ask them questions, let alone have to do it in a foreign country to people who do not speak the same language as you. Brielle, Leslie, and I formed a group and began asking people the questions. We spoke with two couples and two different men. We had a bit of trouble finding certain answers, especially to the questions, which asked for what Ica and Paracus meant. Each person just answered that they were both parts of Peru. But, the assignment really forced us to get out of our comfort zone and talk to the Peruvian people, which was rewarding because that is what this trip is all about.
We had planned to meet at 6pm to discuss Saturday’s plans and the plans for the night, but Yianni slipped on the staircase at the hotel and got a huge gash in the back of his head, so he had to go to the hospital and get stitches so that meeting was clearly postponed. Gladly, Yianni was fine and Monica took the entire group to the best discothèque in Ica, The Who, for a taste of Peruvian nightlife. We got there around 11, which is still early for the Peruvians, because when we arrived it was almost empty, however as the night progressed the club became packed with people. We certainly were a spectacle for all the natives, about 30 American kids dancing in the middle of the dance floor. Andrew turned 21 at midnight, so we all got to sing to him at the club and they played the Happy Birthday song, so that was neat. It was definitely a great experience, but I ended up going in around 12:30 because I was exhausted. But just as all the days before, today was an awesome day.