September 1, 2019 16:30
Today we have reached the beautiful community of Paru Paru. The altitude is 12,000 feet. This mountain view is incredible. I felt tears behind my eyelids as I looked at the scenic views, but I held back because of my happiness. The Quechua people cultivate potatoes mostly, along with many medicinal herbs. I enjoy the ritual called Pijcheo. This is when one sits and offers sacred Coca leaf to one another in selfless gratitude. I enjoy chewing on the Coca. The plant itself is medicinal and helps one acclimate, along with many, many other benefits. This plant has been apart of the Quechua peoples tradition since before the Inca. Mario has invited us into his home to teach us about the ancient ways of his people and their tradition. We have been sitting for hours yet I could sit and learn for hours more. They will teach us things such as agriculture, farming, medicinal remedies or traditional medicine, weaving, building adobe homes/structures and many more cultural studies. Mario has offered to get medicinal plants to heal my digestion of inflammation. To accumulate these plants, Mario took a small six hour hike… Amazing man. The meal in which his community has prepared has been the greatest I have taken on this trip and definitely the purest consciously. I have only been here a few hours, yet I have learned so much. The weather is moi frio up here and for sure not good for my dosa but I feel totally stable, almost at home. This week will be one to remember.