And we were off to the races.
first off... thank you to "the crazy lady" who is leaving me such amazing comments, I really appreciate it ;-)
So, just got back from probably the most incredible trip of my life. It's so hard to explain. From driving 8 miles per hour through the volcanoes, to the altitude weirdness (Titi fainted), to kissing llamas (i can now check that off my list), to hearing indigenous people singing to a volcano, to eating alpaca (so good), to sleeping without a pillow, to bargaining for every single thing I bought (in spanish), to bathing in natural hot springs with people from all over the world, to learning to ask forgiveness, to meeting a ton of other exchange students, to seeing my first condor in my life.
It really was incredible and so much more than that. All I can say is that we went to Colca, an area were people still worship mountains and offer sacrifices (sometimes human). It was so cool. After taking a billion pictures of the terracing farmland, and cayons... I can definitely now say I don't even want to see another camera, but would love to return to that place. It was as if we were back in time seeing how things used to be.
Life is so simple in these hidden corners of peru. Literally, there are people here who still live like in the times far far back. Without connection to the outside world. The carry hay on their back, they use donkeys for travel, they live miles from anything generic (although you can somehow still find Coca-cola even in the middle of the wilderness).
I heard Quechua for my first time which was awesome too. Evidently there is a lot more to Peru than you probably know. So many stories, pre-inca. Quechua and Machu Pichu are definitely not all this country has to offer.
CANYONS DE CULCA- Did you know that they are 2 times deeper than the grand canyon... yah, neither did I. It is soo beautiful. Can't describe it, so... just look at the pictures ;-) We walked for about an hour until we reached the a place where we could see the condores (this was after we got up at 5). ;-) Condores evidently only come out in the morning. I saw a total of 7, and they were so close. It's weird, they don't fly, they soar. It is so cool. We took about a billion pictures and in the end, finished the day watching a 20 year old make some of the most incredible jewelry I have ever seen. Wanted to buy it so bad for some of you, but unfortunately, I didn't have any money;-(
It literally would take a year to write about everything I've learned. All I can say is that I am so happy God has allowed me to see this. More poverty. More brokenness. You know, the United States almost doesn't seem real to me anymore. Like I can't actually believe there can be this poverty, and that wealth at the same time...
Kinda weird, but felt sentimental driving away from Chivay (part of culca) so I wrote somewhat of a poem/remebrance... here goes.
In the middle of a valley,
With their Gods that surround,
Where condors watch,
As children are like there fathers.
Where steps lead down,
To cultures that collide,
Where worlds meet in heated streams,
And complexity seems to stop.
In the heart of Chivay,
Never will the body be forgot.
If you didn't know, there is a man day Chivay many years ago when the spanish invaded that was killed. His last words were that one day the indigenous people would one day rise up again and be victorious. They people believe that this mans body parts were strewn about around the earth and the day that the body parts find eachother, not only with the people of Chivay reach there freedom, but everyone in the world.
This is also part of the reason why Arequipanians are so about separation and whatnot;-)