“If you have come here to help me, please go home; but if you have come because your liberation is somehow bound to mine, then we may work together.” –Indigenous woman.
By: Ms. Elena Aniel
It’s 6:40 am and we are riding a rocky train to Machu Picchu. Yesterday was our last day in Piscacucho. A farewell “Pachamanca” was cooked for all of us, and the students had the opportunity to give a thank you speech to the community before saying goodbye. Listening to them expressing themselves in Spanish in such a sincere way was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
But highlights… I would definitely choose the people. Abel who turned a rafting adventure into a history class, Adolfo, who showed us the use of all the plants during our hike around the sacred valley, the host moms who know how to prepare 500 dishes with the same 3 ingredients and Savannah our World Leadership School instructor who has made us work, think, reflect, and above all have a great time in Peru.
And the GFA students? I have truly enjoyed getting to know these three individuals. Watching Luiz, our “Chasqui” (quechuan runner) taking every single opportunity to talk to his family, the teachers at school and putting himself out there. He is always ready for a challenge, it doesn’t matter if it is weaving a basket, playing soccer with the locals or playing cards with his host siblings. He always has a smile on his face and a question on his mind.
Jazmin has let her creativity flow in our mural designing, basket weaving and pottery making. Even though she doesn’t often share her personality through words she has made an impact through her art. It was an honor to listen to Radhika’s reflections every time we did curriculum activities during the trip. Her laugh brightened up many long journeys and potato based dinners. Radhika devised a very interesting strategy to expand the trip into an indefinite partnership involving the whole GFA community that I hope to launch this coming school year.
I’m looking forward to these last days in Peru. Thank you all for the comments they cheer all of us up!