Many times I have heard the phrase, “You get what you give.” In special cases, however, you get much more than you could ever give. Our trip to Chinchero, Peru, drove home that point time and again. We worked to install a concrete floor in the boarding home for students over during our week in Chinchero. Though we worked extremely hard, I can’t help feeling like we received much more from the people of Chinchero and surrounding areas than we could have imagined.
Our host family – Paulino, Vilma, Faustina, Maria, Raul, Roxana, Franklin, and Chaska – opened their home, their way of life, and their hearts to us. It was such a treat to eat at one long table three times a day. I felt like I was part of a huge family, which is quite a change for this only child. The family’s generosity was just the beginning of the hospitality we would encounter. Almost everyone we met was quick to greet us with a “Buenos Dias.” The weavers at the weaving cooperative even graciously allowed us to fumble our way through weaving to better understand their craft.
The most amazing part of the week in Chinchero occurred during our last afternoon there. Paulino and family told us that we were going to meet some of the children who would be staying in the boarding house and attending school in Chinchero. Imagine our surprise when we were greeted with a full parade! Not only did we meet the children, but we ate with them, laughed with them, danced with them, and took about a million photos with them. The upwelling of emotions I felt that afternoon will stay with me for a long time.
Thanks to all of my travel buddies in Peru. I’m so glad I could share the journey with you. I tip my Cusqueña to you!
– Laura Skelton