Posts tagged “Peru

Walking Deep

Posted on 22 March 2015

Hour after hour dripped by under the sun, and perhaps Antonia and I were wondering why we didn’t just take a tour after all. Striking it out by ourselves at an early hour from Arequipa to Colca Canyon, we took a bus to Chivay, planning on connecting to Cabanaconde shortly after. “Oh yes, you’ll be able to do that,” the ticket seller told us, but in Spanish. Oh nope, we weren’t able! After wandering through the small town and being pointed in direction after direction, we were resigned to the fact that the only bus to Cabanaconde was the one coming from Arequipa a few hours later, the one we should have taken. Disheartened, we wandered to the road out of town, wondering if…

Volunteering Abroad: How to Make Sure You’re Actually Helping

Posted on 14 October 2014

  Volunteering abroad can be a wonderful experience –you get to travel and do some good for the world at the same time. Win/win, right? Unfortunately, not always. I’ve learned this lesson through experience on three different continents; I have completed volunteer internships in Peru and Kenya and I just returned home from a project near Lake Baikal in Russia. All of these experiences taught me something, but some volunteer projects are more effective than others. As an international volunteer, you may be doing less good than you think – or worse, even causing harm. International development is fraught with complexity that is still debated even among experts on some points. However, there are guidelines that you can follow when choosing a volunteer project…

Where the World is Larger

Posted on 14 July 2014

My first experience with big, nay, huge, all-encompassing mountains converted me. I love them. I just wasn’t aware until I landed in Peru and first experienced them. After spending my first week in Cusco, getting to know my host family, finding my way around, and adjusting to my internship, I joined some others on my program for a hike. We took a bus to Urubamba, a town in the Sacred Valley, from which we hiked up and up, along a gravel road that wound behind the town, toward views of the Chicon glacier. Our destination was not the glacier, though, but rather an elusive waterfall. The gravel road ended and we climbed along a ridge, skirting prickly bushes and other grabby plants. Despite being in rather…

That Which Disappears First Fades Away

Posted on 22 April 2014

Peru contains 28 of the world’s 32 climate types and is home to around 90, maybe more, microclimates. Our guide spouted this fact, along with many others, as our van whipped along the mountain roads from Huaraz to Pastoruri Glacier in Huascarán National Park. This number was completely believable, having two days before taken a bus from the world’s second largest desert city, Lima, to the second highest mountain range, the Cordillera Blanca. Maybe it was the altitude making me light-headed, but after having lived in Cusco for a few months I doubt it. When we stopped at a small hot spring to contemplate the scenery of the park, my head spun with the elation that is unique to witnessing an unfamiliar, beautiful place…

The Irreversible Act of Leaving

Posted on 15 December 2013

If you venture elsewhere, almost inevitably you must leave. You may return, but your actions were irreversible, cannot be undone, for the place you left never will be exactly the same for you again. Time passes, things change, you change. And when you love an experience, a place, or just simply know that it has shaped you, departure feels like doors closing slowly. The world has many, and they won’t all stay open for you. Seinäjoki, Finland, June 2007. I clung to my friend tightly at the train station. It hurt so much to leave. Finland was my place; I had found it. We had enjoyed the long, bright days and twilight nights of Provinssirock, the revelry of Juhannus, and the tranquil comfort of…