Saturday, July 2, 2011

Jenna and Kristina here, exactly two weeks being home in Canada from our amazing adventure to Peru! Yesterday, Jenna and I got together with Jessica to celebrate Canada day and how fortunate we are to live in such an amazing country! It was great to see each other after 2 weeks apart, and it was great to reminisce about our travels. Though we're getting back into the hussle and bussle of Canadian life, its hard not to think about Peru and what we witnessed in our time there. Its been hard adjusting to not seeing everyone every day, but its great that we have each other to lean on after such a great journey. Like Kat said in an earlier blog post, a way to describe how we feel about the trip is "we feel full", and that still could not be more true. As great as it is to see our families and friends back home and share our experiences, we still miss the comfort of looking to any side and seeing a beautiful mountain. We were so fortunate to have such an unreal opportunity, and us telling the stories of our days does not do the trip justice. If theres anything we would recommend, it would be to go see it for yourself! I (Kristina) had the opportunity to speak with some of the Peru travellers from last year about their experience and it was amazing to see how much they differed and how much they had in common. We really hope to get together with the other Peru group to share experiences!

Though we're back in Canada, we still will always cherish our memories of Peru 2011! We mish it. So, if you have the opportunity to go on any kind of service learning initiative, take it!

Thank you to all those who have read our blog, whether it be while we are travelling or now.. we really appreciate your support!

All the best,

Yenna and KB

Friday, June 17, 2011

Goodbye Cusco!

Sorry that we have been slacking on the blog posts! We have been having an awesome time in Cusco over the last few days. We had a great time visiting and spending time with Greta and her lovely daughter Maria. We also had a wonderful time visiting kindergarden classes, seeing the beautiful Macchu Pichu, and spending our last few days in Peru together. We are starting our journey home soon, and as excited as we are to share our many experiences with all of you, all of us are very sad to be leaving the wonderful country of Peru.

We will be seeing all of you at approximately 1:10pm Canadian time at the Pearson airport.

Thanks so much for following our blog, it really means a lot to us!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An Uphill Battle!

Saturday was the last day of the pilka dig and boy were we tired! It was difficult to hike up to the pilka let alone dig a two meter hole in the ground after already digging the previous day. Our human power was dwindling at this point as we were becoming physically and mentally exhausted from the culture shock and labour intensive workload. We decided to stop at lunch.

After lunch our group embarked on a trek across the mountainside to see how the women of this community really grow their coffee. Saturdina and her sister lead us along the mountainous terrain that they take every day to work. It showed us a great apprication to what a five minute hike means to them. It also gave us a broarder perspective of an honest day´s work; In North America we take for granted the simplest things. Saturdina stopped and showed us the various fruits in the area, and made sure to point out any topics of interest as we walked. We continued walking and they gave us the best oranges of our lives. Heading back along the path a few of us followed Saturdina up to where they peel the coffee. On the way there, we passed by a banana tree and one of the locals with us cut down a bunch of fresh bananas. They were absolutely phenomenal! Continuing on our journey, we passed where the coffee beans are layed out on tarps and sun dried. What a process!

When we all arrived back to the village, the locals challenged our group to a game of soccer. It was amazing to see that despite the language barriers our groups still overcame this challenge and became closer as an entire community.

Saying goodbye to our new found home was difficult to do. The entire community came into our dwelling, where we both expressed our feelings of graditude for one another. We cannot thank this community enough for all the life lessons they have taught us. They welcomed us into their community with open arms, giving what possessions they had and offered them up to us. They demonstrated the power of family and friendship to our group. They greeted us with smiles and sent us off with enriched hearts, demonstrating that material possessions have little value but a realtionship between each other is what matters.

Regardless of the fact that they had been mourning the loss of their brother, they did all that they could to ensure that our last night was a memorable one. It is in their culture to refrain from dancing two months after a loved one has passed away, however they still hosted a dance party for our departure. The music went on for hours into the night as we danced under the stars. There were smiles all around as we enjoyed dancing to the local music, however, at that same time participating in something that is very familiar to Canadians. A party is party no matter where you are!

On Sunday we began our trek back down the moutain at 6:15 in the morning. Covered in bug spray, sunscreen and stocked with plenty of fluids we were prepared for our three hour hike. As we travelled through the mountains, the trucks awaited us at the top, rock music blasting, to continue our journey back to Chiclayo. Upon our return we had our final dinner with Glen Lombard. Isabel met us at the hotel to see how our adventure went and to provide us with Cafe Feminino Coffee to bring back to our families. We packed up our things to prepare for our early flight to Cusco the following morning.

Love Meg, Jess, Natalie and Jordan