My watch alarm annoys me into wakefulness at 6:21. Rolling over I tell Shawnee that it is time to get up. She agrees but it is another 10 minutes before I get out of bed and another 15 before she does. We pack and talk about the the festival of the Virgen De La Candalias that was happening last night. Thousands of native people dressed in their finest singing, dancing, playing instruments, and drinking. The crowded streets were full of spectators and participants. Smells of food, beer, and urine assaulted my nose, but the energy of the people was contagious. It is fun to walk through a street and relize that people are staring at you just as much as you are looking at them. We finish packing and head out for the day. Today´s agenda is Lake Titicaca and the Uros Islands. The boat ride out is beautiful. The sun, wind, water, and green landscape make for unbelievable eye candy. Stepping onto on of the 42 Uros Islands I felt like I was walking on a water bed. Layers upon layers of totra reeds make up this island. The Uros people use the totra reed for homes, transporation, and food. Antonio our guide, tells us more about the islands and the native people give a demonstration of how the islands are made. It was an amazing follow up to the presentation that Daniel and I gave moments before. After the presentations we walk around the island then get a ride in one of the reed boats. These things only last for about a year until they are rotten and have to make a new one. The boat ride back was warm. I layed in the sun and thought about all that we have done. It seems pretty unreal now that I think about it. We´ve only been in Peru for a little more than 3 weeks and already it feels like home. I honestly don´t want to leave. The landscape, people, and culture is amazing. I love it! Our next stop is a war ship that was built for boarder patrol on Lake Titicaca. This is what makes Titicaca the highest navigatible lake in the world. The captain of the ship gives us a tour and is with out a doubt on of my favorite people on the trip. Lunch with some amazing ice cream comes and goes and before we know it we are back on a bus for a 6 hour ride to Arequipa. It was a double decker bus with two movies that were both shown in spanish with english subtitles. Sleep is nearly impossible and that was all I wanted to do. Finally arriving in Arequipa we get our bags, board another bus that takes us to our hotel, Casa Andina. I like this branch of hotels. Their rooms are comforable with some tv channels in enlish and the showers stay hot. Dinner is pizza, something that I normally avoide, but pizza in Peru is nothing like pizza in America. I actually enjoy the pizza here. Dinner over with, it is finally time to rest for another full day around Arequipa. It is difficult to think that our time here is almost over. I have enjoyed ever bit of Peru and I am so grateful for this opportunity. So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Link School staff for their constant loving work, my parents for allowing me to go here, the people that with their generous donations made is possible for me to attend this school, all of the guides that we have had here in Peru, and most importantly, Gary and Martin. With out these two men our trip would not be nearly as good as it has been. Thank you everybody for this experience. It has been something I will never forget.
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