A Busy Sunday in Cusco

Fitness testing at altitude is not for the faint of heart! On Sunday the PLF4M class invited their mentees (or manatees as Maddi had dubbed them) to join them at the Cusco track for the planned fitness testing. We all set off at 9:30 am getting in our first bit of exercise on the walk to the facility. After paying the 1 sole (about 40 cents) for admission the adventure began.

First off, we spent a few minutes watching the Peruvian firefighters who were doing their own fitness activities in the centre of the track. It became clear over the next few hours that they were acclimated to the altitude. The firefighters just kept going, they were the proverbial energizer bunnies.

Us…not so much. Our mentors were well prepared with warm-ups, agility and flexibility tests, strength activities and finally cardio and cool down. They provided lots of choice and encouragement but I think it is safe to say that every mentee was significantly impacted by the altitude. No matter whether it was bench jumping (over a skipping rope), the 12-minute run or the beep test, planks, situps, pushups and wall sit or the agility run, everyone did their very best.

As we walked home, we all agreed that this had been a very fun morning, with a great workout, well prepared and organized by the PLF4M class. It was also a lesson for everyone on the impact that the lack of oxygen at an altitude of 3400m has on our bodies. Another successful GHS class activity!

But that wasn’t all that PLF4M students had planned for us. Maddi put together a fun scavenger hunt for Sunday afternoon before dinner. Students were divided into groups of 3 or 4 and sent out into the streets of Cusco with a challenge to find a list of significant sights, learn some facts about those sights and to take the most creative pictures possible. In just under 2 hours 4 teams (including the competitive teacher team) sought out San Pedro Market, San Blas church, the Sun Temple, Santa Clara arch and so many more spots. We tried on alpaca garments, looked for places to eat, took pictures and hurried back to the hotel in an attempt to win this version of “The Amazing Race”. This has become one of our favourite traditions on GHS. We love exploring and learning interesting information as we navigate the new cities we visit.