In week two, the group and I relocated to a small town about a hour outside of Cusco called Chinchero. I am definitely more of a city girl so being in a rural town was quite different for me. To say the least, I quickly began to start missing the busy life of Cusco during our stay in Chinchero. Plus to top it off, all 13 of use were staying in one house, sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags, and sharing two bathrooms. The living arrangements were not ideal, but I did enjoy the fact that our group was able to become a lot closer.
During my week in Chinchero I was finally able to get the hang of weaving and improved tremendously. This is all due to the wonderful weavers who were too patient with me in teaching me how to get the process down. The weavers even showed us how to dye the yarn using naturals dyes. With their help, I was able to finally start working on my final big project, which I decided to weave a camera strap.
Although I was missing the city life, it was such a relaxing and enjoyable time to watch the weavers weave and just converse with one another. All of them acted like such a family and were always helping one another out. I think the most amazing thing to witness with the weavers was how long they could sit in silence and weave all throughout the day, everyday. It made me envy them in that in American society, there is always some type of noise, whether that’s someone talking or even just a sound of a TV. The weavers are able to not only sit in silence, but also enjoy the silence and not become uncomfortable with it. Sitting in silence and being content with it was something that took awhile for me to adjust to.
Being in Chinchero I was certainly able to enjoy nature more as well. The group and I were able to play soccer, go on hikes, walk around the little town, and just explore in general. At night, the stars were one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. ! It was incredible how clear the sky was at night. I could honestly see streaks of the Milky Way in the night sky! Once the week was coming to a close, I was a bit sad. Chinchero had certainly grown on me. I was going to miss being with my group during every waking moment and also miss hanging out with the weavers during the day. Just as soon as I found myself enjoying my time here, things took a turn for the worse.
Our last official day in Chinchero and overnight everyone started popping up sick. Three people in our group had to be rushed to the hospital that morning because of the condition that they were in. By that evening four more people had to be admitted to the hospital, while the rest of use went to the local clinic to be checked out, just to be safe. With that out of our group, two people had typhoid fever, two people had parasites, and one person had the flu! For those who were clean of anything, including me, we were given medicine in case we started feeling ill. That evening even though I had been on medication, I began to not start feeling well and had to be taken to the hospital. The doctors told me that my body was rejecting the medicine orally and therefore would have to be admitted into the hospital and given an IV! With being in the hospital for two days I was quite miserable and the homesickness I had managed to avoid the whole trip so far was starting to take ahold of me.