1,000 days later she understands that the greatest gift of all was not the chance to travel, but the chance to find life in a small town in the Northern Andes of Peru. The donkey races and pick-up soccer games. The lunch invitations that turned into hour hikes into the campo and all night parties. The process of culture shock and learning the art of enjoying alone time. The delicious new flavors and the custom of offering a meal to every visitor, even when you have no food to offer. Finding the human connection and the art of understanding foreign customs. Showering them with kindness and using love as a universal language. Turning the “fish bowl” into an opportunity to be an example, with the hopes of making a small change in life of someone somewhere, and at the same time knowing that she could not help everyone everywhere.
Puno is a small town in the South of Peru bordered by Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable body of water, and it is alive with bright colors, friendly people, and beautiful artisan work! Neon pom poms line boat windows and shops are filled with handmade alpaca winter accessories. The man-made floating reed islands can by spotted from the shoreline and tourists from all over the world visit to get a taste of the island traditions.
In short, my favorite piece of creative advice from The White House, “You live in a ‘walled city’ that no one else has access to; only you have the key to open the door. It is your tour and your story to tell. Be transparent about your interactions and capture the true human moments of your experience.”
Well, now that I have paid rent three times in Lima I guess it is finally time to accept the move and share a little bit about my new life with all of ya’ll. In August I packed my bags, three suitcases, two giant market bags, a bench and a shelf to be exact, and left my a piece of my heart in the beautiful Northern Andes of Peru. I traded small town Contumaza, Cajamarca for the capital city of Lima.
A true friend is the greatest of all blessings. Meet Adrienne, a fellow Peace Corps Peru 23 business volunteer who spent her two years of service in the cute coastal town of Moche. Her resume includes expert listener, sturdy shoulder to cry on, and delicious brownie baker… as well as IBM consultant, super volunteer and future Peace Corps director. Basically I would not have made it the whole two years without her support!