In Cusco, people tend to start their days a little later than I am used to back at home, at least in the professional world. In our home here, we wake up and have breakfast every morning at 7:15 am and then we all get ready to head out for the day. For me this means waiting around for an hour or so before heading to my dental clinic that opens at 9 am.
When I first arrive at my clinic there tends to be a lot of waiting around. I help the assistants clean, by mopping all of the floors, sanitizing the rooms and making sure everything else is in order for the day ahead. This takes on average of about 30 to 40 minutes every morning and after we are done cleaning there is quite a bit of sitting and talking. The dentist usually shows up around 10:30 and most of the time the first patient follows around 11 am.
Every afternoon from 1 to 3 pm we have a break at the clinic. This is the time when I head home to eat lunch with my host family and other students, as well as end my day of service learning. Lunch consists of a bowl of soup, usually followed by rice, some form of potato and chicken. (It’s a good thing I like all of these foods because we tend to eat them every day).
After lunch we usually find ourselves at a coffee shop working on the week’s assignments, or just exploring around our town. There are so many things that are within walking distance, it makes it very easy to get around the main street. If we are feeling adventurous or just want to go a little further, we can head to the plaza for the afternoon. There you can find all kinds of amazing foods, as well as shopping for anything that you could imagine. It is only a taxi ride away and you can usually get them for about 5 or 6 soles, which is very inexpensive.
After this, we eat dinner with our host family around 7 pm. Usually at the dinner table with us is our father, mother, their son, and their niece that has been living with us for the past few weeks. It is a fun time to sit and talk about our days and communicate as best we can with them. They don’t speak any English, but they are very good about talking slowly and trying to explain things if we do not understand them the first time. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of the day. It is sometimes challenging to communicate and understand, but it is a time for learning and growing. I truly do enjoy these moments and I look forward to many more.
Mollie Maupin is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City studying Chemistry and Psychology. She will spend four weeks in Peru with the ISA Service Learning: Cusco program. While in Cusco she will shadow in a dental clinic, learning from numerous professionals.
Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.