Cusco is beautiful. As as the plane approached it we could see bunches of red ti led roofs nestled between mountains. The center is full of old Spanish buildings, some built on top of strong Incan walls of huge straight edged blocks of cut stone. The city is growing and beginning to sprawl up the hills but the old parts have be en preserved very well.
There are churches everywhere and their towers rise above the other buildings.
We are about an hours walk from the center (15 minute bus ride) at another home stay. This time, though, it is a larger house with 3 rooms that are rented out. The house is owned by the family of Fanny and John who started Fair Play. Fair Play is a neat organization that trains single mothers to teach Spanish. After they train them, they provide students and classroom space. Since the organization is non-profit, the teachers make 2-3 times more than if they worked in a regular Spanish school, and the working conditions are better. Strangely enough, the prices for classes are some of the cheapest I've seen in town and they are private. So far, I've been impressed by their teaching program (which says a lot because I'm picky about language classes). We have 2 hours of grammar in the morning and then 4 hours of practice which involves wandering around town with our teachers , talking, being corrected and sometimes stopping and really working on specific points. It can be exhausting but I think our Spanish is improving quickly. As I've talked to my 2 teachers, it is also great to learn how the program has helped them raise their standard of lif e and become self sufficient and able to provide for their children instead of being forced back into negative relationships.