Another Great Peruvian Adventure:
I wasn’t sure if I would get back to Peru or not, but I really wanted to visit Kimberly’s Peace Corps site of San Miguel. My sister Jackie graciously agreed to accompany me on this beautiful but arduous journey. The department of Cajamarca is not exactly traveler friendly. After spending the night with the nuns and flying from Lima to Chiclayo (Kim note: a group of nuns used to live in San Miguel and now live close to the airport offered to let us stay with them one night), we spent hours on buses and taxis which flew precariously around hairpin curves on the paved and unpaved roads along the Andes Mountains. We look back now and laugh about one driver who took a curve a little too sharply and ended up running into a rock slide. After crawling out the driver’s door and watching the men pick up the rocks one by one until our van was freed, we were on our merry way once again.
But we made it to Cajamarca!
Sunset overlooking the city of Cajamarca:
Hiking in Cumbe Mayo, just outside Cajamarca:
We were warmly welcomed not only by Kim’s host family, but also the entire town. I don’t believe they had ever seen tourists before, especially not blonde sisters! We got lots of stares, giggles and people touching our hair and telling us we had beautiful heads. I’m not sure which was more attractive, the mountains surrounding San Miguel or the lovely people living there. We were wined and dined wherever we went. One day we ate no less than six meals! Kimberly’s host mom killed some chickens for our lunch and hung them from the ceiling. She must have known we were a little squeamish, so she kept them covered with a towel (Kim note: Host Mom gave me a wink and said she knew how to handle “real gringas”). We kept Kimberly busy boiling water to drink and bathe in. She was very patient with her high maintenance mom and aunt.
Host Mom cleaned my room (and washed my shoes!), hauled a bed and mattress into my second-floor bedroom and made a welcome sign for their arrival. She was pretty pumped.
("Vani" = Bonnie and "Yaqui" = Jackie. I assume she wrote "okey" because it's the only word Host Mom knows in English. I love her.)
Bonnie and Jackie
Another Editor’s Note, to the Guest Blogger and her sis:
I would like to formally apologize to you both for dragging y’all from one uncomfortable situation into another. Thank you for being good sports, even when it was scary. More importantly, thank you for coming, even though it was scary. You’ll never know how much it meant to me.
Upon leaving Peru last week, I am only barely beginning to grasp how much I will miss that place and those people. The past two years already seem like a dream to me, having flown by in a haze. Just knowing that you have been to San Miguel, stayed in my house, met my friends and coworkers and seen why I love it so creates a bridge between the two lives I’ve lived. I can’t imagine living without my memories of either. Mil gracias!