When I sat down to write a summary of our time in Peru, I realized that I had already written something similar to the words that were beginning to come out. This month’s wrap up is a slight adaptation of a portion of an email sent to my dear friend and penpal, Martha Grove. Enjoy the slideshow below.
It was quite the month in Peru, a combination of not-our-favorite-infrastructure and it-is-so-obvious-why-they-call-it-the-Sacred-Valley. To be honest, I felt like maybe I was missing something when we first came into the country. We’d heard such raving reviews of Peru and expected it to blow many of the other places we’d been out of the water, but it just did not for us upon arrival. Not to say we didn’t enjoy it, just that it wasn’t clearly the absolute best place we would be over the course of this journey. Over the following weeks though, I came to realize how powerful this experience could be for a traveler that flew into to Lima or Cusco and perused the centro for a while before heading to the Sacred Valley and then back home. Surely those areas are all quite touristy, but they are also incredible and impressive and touristy for a reason. On top of that, more than any other country we’ve spent time in, this area of Peru has an identity that isn’t doused in Americanization and fast food and products we recognize. Indeed it is probably most like what we expected when we left, and yet over the last year we’ve gotten used to new cultures that were more blended and friendly. We have, in the last few weeks, seemed to have won over the locals we interact with, but it was just a more slow process than it has been before. Last week, I ignorantly failed to recognize that our normal check-out girl at the store was counting her register even though she mentioned something about it being late (which I responded to as though it was just a comment regarding our usually coming earlier in the day). Anyway, she helped us regardless, turning away another customer and laughing with me saying that she was only open for special customers. Truly people are good everywhere, even if sometimes it takes a little while longer to connect.
Connections. Yes. Community. Even on a global scale.
I guess you’ve already noticed how much less Americanization there is in Bolivia, right? For us, since we entered Peru from Bolivia, Peru was a shock in that way! Some great pictures; so glad you enjoyed Peru!
Such a great point on how different perspectives can be! Our backgrounds, recent or not, certainly play a big role in how we view our surroundings. Indeed, even in the big city of La Paz, recognizable brands are even fewer. We have been able to find more foods we recognize at the grocery store though – woot woot Louisiana hot sauce!
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