Since I’ve Come to Peru #4

Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve seen the most alluring mountains ever. They draw my eyes up their near vertical slopes and the peaks appear to be spirits, surrounding and protecting those below. In the markets I’ve seen an endless variety of colors and textures in fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and animal products- many of which demonstrate a much wiser use of resources than what my own culture does. I’ve seen beautiful smiling faces and laughing eyes and people helping each other, obviously part of a connected community. I’ve seen lots and lots of colorful trash incorporated into the dirt roads, on the sides of highways, and scattered along slopes near towns. And I’ve seen the most mystical ruins yet.

Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve heard mesmerizing flute music, people calling out to potential customers, children laughing as they play, kitchen sounds clanking in the background of writing class, the clicks and halting sounds of the Quechua language, “Buenos dias!” from most people I pass, booming thunder, and rain on the tile roofs and splattering on smooth rocks.

Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve smelled garlic and gentle spices being cooked together in new combinations, manure and piss, unfamiliar herbs, flowers in the market, a dank smell of a homeless man sleeping at the ATM, luscious pumpkin soup, the scent of fresh rain on rich soil, and my own sweat after wearing the same clothes for several days (especially after climbing Machu Picchu).

Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve tasted the best food I’ve ever had from one culture with mild spices blended in unusual ways, slightly bitter black corn chicha, effervescent and slightly sour fresh chicha, a variety of fresh herbal teas, a tiny bit of guinea pig roasted underground and stuffed with huacatay, grilled alpaca, and the saltiest water I’ve ever had.

Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve felt elated, connected and loved, and excited for having new experiences. I felt sick for just a bit, but mostly I’ve felt strong and healthy. Sometimes I felt myself pull back to get some inward time. I felt in love with my writing and disappointed in my writing. I felt love for the people and culture of Peru.

Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve met people I want to have in my life, that I hope to continue to get to know. And I’ve met some of the friendliest, most loving and helpful people ever.

Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve learned that people are usually there to help you rather than cause pain and that a lot of us have similar shared experiences. When we share those experiences it can free us from feeling isolated and ashamed. I learned that when I share myself fully, even the scary parts that I thought I didn’t want to share, I feel lighter.

Tamara Myers, Santa Cruz

PS Karyn Bristol and I will definitely be bringing another group back to Peru. If you’d like to make this more than just a virtual vacation and would like to be notified when we schedule that trip, you can fill out this form on my website:

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