Wow. Made it to Arequipa after the incredible long bus trip... and literally walked right on to our tour bus. We met up with 18 other exchange students that are living here in Arequipa. Then went touring the city with an extremely annoying guide who seemed to only want to talk to Alina until 6:00 tonight.
But beyond the frustrations, tiredness, and lack of food. It was great. I got to see some amazing sights. I got to go into the middle of a volcano for the first time in my life which was so crazy. (Don't worry, it's inactive.)
Few facts about Arequipa that I managed to understand in between trying to hide that I was napping... ;-)
1) 3 volcanoes... (Misty, Pichu Pichu, and ChaChani.) Arequipans are extremely proud of the volcanoes and aren't afraid to tell you.
2) It is called the "ciudad blanca" (white city) because many of the buildings are made from a white rock that was emitted from the volcano many years ago. Literally, almost all the buildings are white. ;-)
3) Arequipa was founded in 1540, and the house of the founder (Garcia Manuel Carbajal) still stands to this day. We went to it and it was incredible. Everything was painted in gold... the pictures, the lamps, everything. It was weird. There weren't any security guards. ;-)
4) There are alpacas walking around everywhere down here. It was awesome. Many of the students were afraid to approach the first one until I decided to grab one by the ears lol ;-) Surprisingly it didn't spit on me. ;-)
5) There were originally 4 different languages here in Arequipa. But now, hardly any remain besides Spanish. You can definitely here the accents still though.
6) Arequipas are super passionate about their city. They want to separate from Peru. In the past they have even made their own passports and money to try to begin the process. There are signs everywhere that say things like "You have to fight for what you want. Rise up!" It's really weird.
Anyways, I have a huge headache and think that I am getting a sinus infection. But I don't want to give up this opportunity. God has definitely challenged me in many ways today and all I can say at the end of the day is... Lord, give me strength.