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A True Blue Experience with Whitney Jorgenson

Senior describes her study abroad experience in Peru

March 6, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee soccer's Whitney Jorgenson completed her four-year career in the fall. Now, the Overland Park, Kan., product is touring the world as part of her Global Studies major. Jorgenson is participating in a study abroad program in Peru this spring. For the next few weeks, we'll post a blog from Whitney about her experience.

"I never thought I would get this opportunity to live for three months in a foreign country while being a full time student. Thanks to MT athletics and my Global Studies requirements, my new home for the spring semester is Cusco, Peru. Peru, the country of color, alpacas and the fastest growing economy in the world. Cusco is the city of the Inca Empire and the home of one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. At an elevation of 11,300 feet, this Kansas princess took about four days to fully adjust.

The elevation has not been the only thing I have had to adjust to though. There are several things about Peru that are much different than what I am used to:

1. Tap water is bad! You absolutely do not drink the tap water or ever have ice in your drink.
2. When you go to the bathroom, no matter what your business, toilet paper always goes in the trash, it is not to be flushed! Unless you really want to clog the pipes.
3. Showers are either too hot or too cold. If you want otherwise and try to turn the knobs while in the shower you will feel a pulsing shock take over your hand. This goes for the showerhead and water heater switch too.
4. Street food may look amazing and taste amazing, but in six hours you won't feel amazing.
5. Taxis are cheap. 2.5 soles which is equal to one American dollar.
6. Buses are cheaper. I take a bus called Batman (yes that's seriously the name). It costs 70 centimos, which is equal to $0.30.
7. There are no traffic laws. Except for the occasional stoplight there are no stop signs at four way stops, just speed bumps. One-lane streets seem to magically fit two and I have yet to see a speed limit enforced.
8. Guinea Pigs are not pets. They are dinner. Cuy (Guinea pig) is a dish enjoyed on any special occasion in Peru.
9. The food here is to die for! The fruit is pure. Vegetables are fresh and meat is cut to order.
10. The mountains combined with the colors, people and colonial architecture are like nothing I have ever seen before. They stun me daily.
Another cool adjustment I have made is that instead of living in a dorm I am living with a local family. My host family speaks absolutely no English and my Spanish has never left the classroom. Being only a week into my semester abroad this is the greatest challenge I have been met with thus far. Hopefully, I will be able learn the language they are so patiently trying to teach me and express my gratitude for their unconditional hospitality.

Until next time. Chao!

Whitney Jorgenson

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