I have been back home in Charlotte for a little over a week now, and I am beginning to feel that I have once again become accustomed to the style of living in the U.S. Upon my arrival to the Miami Airport, I experienced quite a culture shock. I’m not quite sure as to what caused it, maybe all of the tall white people, sense of security, or hearing mostly English in a large public place. All I know is that I didn’t like it one bit, I was yearning to be back in Peru where the people seemed more personal and every trip out of the hospedaje was an adventure.
Here is a list of the top ten things that I will miss from Peru:
- The People – Peruvians are some of the friendliest people that I have met in all of my travels. They were always willing to lend out a helping hand and tell you the best way to go about completing a task (maybe even an hour long demonstration if you are in Ciudad de Dios)
- La Barra – The infamous night club in Trujillo. It provided our group with many nights of fun, and even better stories
- Sounds of Hunachaco – The entire day was full of sounds that ranged from combi drivers yelling at you to take a ride to “Trujillo, Trujillo” to the fruit salesman projecting his voice through a megaphone saying “mandarinas, mandarinas, un sol, un kilo.” And one cannot leave out the sensation that is Peruvian Cumbia; there is not a place you can go without hearing Grupo 5
- Brian Billman’s Revolutionary Speeches – No town meeting is complete without Brian speaking in his flawless Spanish and stating “Poder de la comunidad!!” which is almost always followed by the raising of his fist
- The Coca Plant – The popular plant proved to be quite helpful during many strenuous hikes throughout the Sacred Valley
- 8 Hour Long Bus Rides on the Local Bus – These bus rides between various cities are full of characters, interruptions, and amazing movies. I believe that the ride to Puno was my favorite, I was privileged enough to get to sit next to a Peruvian woman and her three year old child. This ride consisted of stops for food where women would jump on the bus and butcher an entire calf in the aisle or run around throwing pieces of bread the size of pizzas at people for 5 soles. The two forms of entertainment were movies (Terminator and karate movies) and dietitians that would provide us with live infomercials for vitamins.
- The Ruins – Obviously the ruins around Cusco and Machu Picchu are amazing and worthy of making my top ten list.
- Town Markets – One can get lost in the Mayorista of Trujillo for hours and stumble upon some of the coolest/weirdest stuff ever. Some people feel nervous or scared as they walk through markets, but I become overjoyed with happiness because you are able to see the locals in a real environment where they are interacting with each other and enjoying themselves. Plus the cd’s are cheap.
- Talking in English – Surprisingly, it is quite fun to know that nobody around you can understand what you are talking about. This set the stage for many entertaining conversations, too bad this all had to change once we got to Cusco.
- The Nourish Group and Ciudad de Dios – Our group was AMAZING! The friendships that we formed with each other and the townspeople helped make the work that we did more enjoyable and productive.