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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Different Worlds

This past week we spent in Nacion Q’eros, members known to be the closest decendents of the Incas, a collection of communities untouched and unknown from most of the outside world. During our time in these magical places and surreal landscapes, we had time to reflect on our values and ways from back home. We realized immediatly that we had a lot to learn from them even though they had minimal things and were living in houses made of stone, mud, and straw. They welcomed us with open arms and their generosity was more than what we could have imagined. Contagious smiles, connections and respect to the nature surrounding them was a lesson for all of us. While walking through the snowy yet sunny mountains we wouldn’t pass a soul for many hours on end except for the occasional llama herder.

Falling asleep on the bus to Cusco and waking up to the chaos and crowded streets was a shock to all. Walking down the street and being talked to in English after having to try to communicate in Kechua for a week left us speechless. It’s amazing how driving 3 hours could change the environment drastically. From meals limited to different types of potatoes to seeing a McDonalds and KFC on the same block or from sleeping on hay covered floors to a comfortable bed were only some of the things that left us in awe when we arrived in Cusco.

During one of our discussions with our instructors, we talked about comfort and what draws us to our modern life habits. Cusco was the perfect test for us to either go back to these habits or try to be aware and concious of our actions.

To give you a chance to see from our perspective, take a look at some photos lower on the yak board that show the different worlds only seperated by a chain of mountains and rivers.