Me and Brielle were up at 9:30 today and woke the boys up so we could all walk over and hopefully have time to grab some coffee before heading to Amouta for our language exam today. The test was a bit strange. It consisted of a lot of vocabulary as opposed to grammar, which none of us had anticipated. There were multiple choice questions, reading comprehension, and it ended with a written portion where I had to utilize my knowledge of the verb tenses to communicate a series of events.
After the test we headed to our favorite breakfast spot that had the bagels and outrageous coffee. There was a lot to do today, since it was our last day in Cusco. I needed to pack, do the majority of my gift shopping, and get ready for our fancy last dinner at the monastery tonight. Me, Andrew, and Scott went to San Pedro market and then the Artisan market to do some shopping. I have gotten so good at bargaining for things. I used to be afraid to do it, plagued by guilt and my lack of confidence in my Spanish skills, but after six weeks, I’m bargaining like a pro, and it really feels quite cool.
After getting all my shopping done, I left the boys and continued walking around Cusco by myself for a bit to soak up my last bit of Cusco by myself. I walked by a tattoo and piercing shop. I have been going back and forth with myself about getting my nose pierced, so I decided to just go and talk to the man in the shop just to humor myself. We talked for a bit and he showed me the piercing area and how he cleansed the tools and told me a nose piercing cost 50 soles. I told him I’d think about it and that I might come back, and I left the shop seriously considering getting my nose pierced, but also very impressed with the entire transaction I just had in Spanish. It was my second successful Spanish conversation of the day, because earlier that day I had spoken to a waiter in a restaurant who told me I spoke Spanish very well and that my accent was great, compared to most Americans.
As soon as I stepped out of the shop, I pretty much decided I would just go for it. I called Scott to come back to the plaza and be with me while I got it done because I didn’t want to get it done alone. He came and held my hand while the guy stuck a four-inch needle through my nose and my eyes watered like hell. Luckily, I didn’t see the needle, only Scott did, otherwise I probably would have freaked. I’m satisfied with the result and I have gotten all good reactions to my new nose, so I’m happy with it. It’s a pretty good way to remember Cusco I’d say.
We headed back to the hotel because we had to get all prettied up for our final dinner as a group at El Monestario. This place was amazing and everyone looked so pretty and handsome. The night was so bittersweet, and the laughs, smiles, and flowing conversation at our table was really heartwarming. We had made an amazing journey together, and although it was coming to an end, this was a time to celebrate the past six weeks, and have the chance to reflect on our new friendships and experiences. Pictures were taken by the hundreds, I’m certain, and we eventually filed out and headed to Indigo.