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Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

Approach

It’s nearly been a week of arriving back in Cusco. Although we have been here exploring the city and researching new topics for our ISP’S, for me at least it hasn’t felt like we were back in the place where we spent the last month and a half.

Yesterday Naomi and I went to visit our friends in Paru Paru. This is where it was finally beginning to hit me when driving into the mountains of Pisac that we were back in the Sacred Valley. Paru Paru was the first place we went to after orientation. It was where the trip had first begun with our group of seven.

We had no expectations of our day yesterday. It was one of our first times traveling without Kaela and Luis and the last time we saw anyone from Paru Paru we were just beginning Spanish classes. Now we were on our own, our Spanish skills being put to the test and let me just say we exceeded that test. The WHOLE day we spoke in Spanish while evening learning bits of the native language Quechua.

We were catching up with Mario when we arrived and taking in the breathtaking views around us. It had only been about 10 minutes of being there when our previous host mom walked in with our little brother Diego who had grown so much since the last time we saw him. Already filled with joy seeing them then came in our little sisters who seemed to clearly remember us. Andrea, who is my favorite five year old ever embraced me with a MASSIVE hug where she wouldn’t let go. The rest of the day was spent playing with the two of them running around outside. Naomi and I both had moments of it being the best day we’ve had in weeks.

There was a moment I had when looking out onto the mountains thinking of Bolivia. The last time we were here we thought it was going to be our last. We thought we would be in Bolivia during this time but as this trip has taught us, we could have never expected certain things to happen.

The whole day in Paru Paru was so much fun! It was great seeing people we care about. Celestino acknowledged when we were first there we couldn’t speak Spanish and now we were having full conversations with them. To our group past and present our friends in Paru Paru send you all a huge Hello! 🙂

I’m beginning to realize what Luis talked about during orientation on approach. It’s not about going to as many places as possible expecting something. It’s about grace, maintaining relationships we’ve already created, putting in the energy to continue those connections and having an awareness of the place around us. For me, it feels important to continue maintaining these special relationships. Although I wish the situations in Bolivia didn’t have us leave, I am extremely happy to be back in Peru.

*Pictures*
*Andrea and I*
*The back of our homestay house*