Maximo Nivel

Flying through the night to Lima, and then to Cusco left me a little hazy when getting off the plane and finding my bags at the Cusco Airport. But the city is BEAUTIFUL. In the cool morning air, I caught a ride to my host family’s residence. A cute little apartment on the 5th floor of an apartment building where Nora, a middle aged Peruvian woman, lives with her husband and 3 sons. They own apartments on floors 4 and 6 as well, which they rent out to students like me who come to stay with them. I guess that I will be meeting multiple roommates during my time in Cusco.

The other students have not yet come down to breakfast yet, so I use to time to try and practice my Spanish with my new host mother. She has a calming presence and a welcoming smile. She is preparing tea and toast for breakfast. Along with the toast, she cuts “palta,” or the Peruvian word for avocado. I have not heard it called this in any other Spanish speaking country that I have visited, but will be quick to incorporate it into my speaking as “aguacate” is one of my favorite foods. Even though they are in winter, the fruit and local produce already looks incredible.

After meeting Nora’s sons and the other 10 students staying with her, I have to hurry off to the Spanish school, Maximo Nivel, for orientation and my first class. We are moving so fast that I do not get an opportunity to shower. Que roche!.. another Peruvian word that I never heard before visiting… and yet, one that I will again use often as it means embarrassing.

Carla, my Spanish teacher, is smily and as great energy, a necessary trait for teaching a foreign language. There are plenty of students at higher levels of Spanish, and other at lower levels. But because no one is at my exact understanding, I will be working with her privately for the first week. For now it is all about getting to know each other and showing the degree at which I can communicate and comprehend. With many hours with Carla every day, I’m excited to see how much I can learn in this short time; my own maximum level. Must make some time to play on those mountains as well. But first, sleeeeep.