This experience in Paru Paru has been eye and heart opening. to open up a semester abroad with a week of learning from, observing and becoming family with some of the sweetest most generous people i have ever met was amazing. There are so many moments that I could write about that i’m very much still processing in disbelief that I am able to have these beautiful opportunities. From our hike to the crystalline waters of the Puma Lake, where we meditated, felt the pure waters, ate snacks of the biggest corn kernels i have ever eaten in my life, to being taught natural plant dyes and the process of weaving and creating yarn from freshly sheared sheep wool. From sharing coca leaves in a ceremony called “pic-char” as we got to know the people of Paru Paru, to offering coca leaves to the earth to show our gratitude towards her for letting us plow and break the land to grow potatoes, the jewels of the mountain people of Peru. There is so much that i am grateful for, and i left Paru Paru feeling so full. Full of conversation, full of questions, full of love from the endless generosity these people showed all of us from inviting us into their homes, cooking meals of the best potatoes and yummiest veggies fresh from their gardens and grains from their crops, and conveying the upmost respect and joy without necessarily using words. with broken english, a splattering of Quechua, random spanish and a mixture of spanglish and odd hand gestures, I hope that i properly conveyed how happy I was to be in the presence of these pure of heart people. The bonds that I made there in Paru Paru felt immensely deep, though only for a couple of days. Included is a picture of a funny moment that Faith and I had with our dad/brother/friend Marco, who was the man of the house in which we had stayed. We took a break from lifting hefty mud bricks that were going to be turned into an adobe home, and showed him the alien effects on photo booth. truly shows that odd photo booth effects are a universal language 😉
I have many memories i have yet to journal about and settle with, but these moments and sentiments are what immediately came to mind thinking about our brief but abundant stay in the mountains. a beautiful start to this school year indeed.