The first stop on the tour was the Monestary of San Francisco in downtown Lima. The kids were in for a big surprise as we actually got to go down into the catacombs underground where over 25,000 people were burried. Yes, bones were included and it was an awesome experience.
After that we walked down to the main square of the city. Here the group got a chance to check out the changing of the gaurd at the government palace. The whole process actually takes about 1 hour and we had a chance to stand and watch the band play through their series of songs before we took off. At the center of the square the students got a chance to meet and mingle with some of the local school aged children in Peru. The girls had a blast as many of the little Peruvian students asked to take pictures with them. We found out very quickly today that the Peruvian people are extremely nice and want to engage us to speak english as well as to let the kids practice their spanish.
After the square we made our way over to the Larco Museum to check out a major private collection of early Peruvian civilization artifacts. Once again, our guide, Omar, made it fun and interesting for the kids and they went through taking part in a scavenger hunt to find different pieces of work throughout the grounds. We got a very great chance to really understand more about the early civilizations of the Peru area and the artifacts were amazing to see. This tour ended and we were just gettting to lunch!
For lunch we got a chance to actually go and eat at a small family owned restuarant in the Miraflores disrtict. With a max capacity of 42 people, our group basically filled up the place and they treated us to a great meal. We had a chance to experience real authentic peruvian dishes and the food was awesome! Hard to believe that some of us walked away from portions to big to finish for just $4 american dollars.
After lunch we changed our orginal plans to walk the Miraflores district and opted to take the kids to the beach. Although there is not nice snady beaches here, the kids got a chance to go jump into the ocean and feel the pacific. It was a great sight to see and the students had a blast.
We closed out the day by going and eating supper in one of the most unique places you could imagine. We actually ate at a very good Peruvian place that is located in a open air shopping mall built into the side of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The view was amazing and the food was too! This seemed to cap off a great first day and the kids were back in their rooms ready to sleep at 9pm.
Tomorrow is going to be another big experience. Starting at 5:30am, we will head to the airport to take a short flight to Cuzco. In Cuzco we are going to get a chance to experience some things that we had not known about previously and the cultural aspect of it will be a once in a lifetime event. more specifics will come tomorrow.
As for an update on the group, everyone is continuing to do great. We walked over 6 miles today so they are tired and ready to sleep. I hope to be able to link up my Ipad and post pictures soon but the wifi continues to be unstable. Thankfully the old desktop in the lobby can allow me to post the updates. As for tomorrow, I am not certain of the tech details and will do what I can to make sure that I get another update out. As for now, I will say good night and you can sleep easy knowing that our first day on the ground was a big success and that our group is safe and sleeping.