Overall, Casa Elena has treated us beautifully in Cusco, treating our luggage with great care when we left for weekend excursions, and serving us wonderful meals, my favorite of which was the avocado slices and beets mix for lunch one day. Cusco has a neat plaza, a great Greek restaurant right next to Casa Elena, Paddy's Irish Pub, Greens, and Jack's Cafe just to name a few of my favorite spots. I think most people in the group have acclimated nicely to the high elevation and there have been no serious illnesses thus far (knock on wood.) I think the whole group is excited for what our last week of classes in Cusco has in store before capping off the Maymester with a trip to Machu Picchu.
Greeted with maté de coca as we walked into the lobby of Casa Elena, I knew I would like Cusco even better than Lima. The first day of class we discussed Bartolomé de las Casas, the Dominican fighter for the indigenous peoples, father of liberation, and historian. The history of the huacas (temples) and cronistas was fascinating having lasted for very long periods of time as ancient relics. Papacho's was by far the best meal I have had on the trip. I ordered the Cusco burger which came with avocado and onion straws. Perfecto! Also, seeing a political rally (and even illegally participating a bit) was wild to say the least. Both the US and Peru have an intense election this year (happens once every 20 years when both country's elections coincide). If all works out, Trump will make America great again and PPK will come out on top.
Because of the Quechuan influence, many names of places and things in Cusco are Quechuan as opposed to in Lima, where they are not. One would have to be several pisco sours deep to vote for crooked Hillary Clinton or socialist Bernie Sanders. In all seriousness, Cusco has been an incredible place for us to learn, explore, and have fun.