mom has a fridge magnet that reads “Happiness is wanting what you have”, and I have to agree. The last book that Josh and I read was one of the Dalai Llama’s books “The Art of Happiness”. Of course, from such a worldly and wise man with so much common sense, there were so many truly amazing messages in his book. These two things stand out in my mind today after visiting a more typical rural Peruvian home. Their lives seem so simple, with just the necessities, no extras. And although they don’t really have any modern conveniences, they did an amazing job of making a mud hut seem homey and comfortable. You don’t need a bunch of “stuff” to make you happy, just family, your basic needs, and your health.
We both got a chuckle from seeing the porcelain toilet and sink in the bathroom, because they don’t have running water, but it looked so shiny and new against the brown clay walls. These people were a little more well off than other families in the village. They had mattresses on elevated platforms in the bedroom building, and the kitchen had tables, and shelving, and was decorated nicely with draperies and musical instruments on the walls.
The food we had for lunch was a three course meal, probably the best we’ve had since arriving in Peru. Quinoa and potato soup with fried cheese sticks, fresh fried trout with rice and vegetables, and for dessert we had peaches and cream. So good!
I can back track a bit to this morning, when Josh and I both suffered from the AM queeziness. We managed a small breakfast and almost did not leave for our day trip from the ill effects. However, we were the only two on our tour and could not disapppoint the families and kids that we were to visit. And so we went.
First, we drove to a tiny village school with about 6 separate classrooms. We spent a few minutes with two different grades. We told them our names, where we were from, and pointed it out on their map. Then they sang to us, and performed versus and riddles in both spanish and the native language. We brought out our coloring books, crayons, stickers, and pencils and were glad to see the excitement for them all. We thought they might be familiar with Dorra the explorer and Diego (spanish cartoons from home and even Mexico), but they don’t have anything remotely close to a t.v. Silly tourists.
From the school, which was built by Canadian and American volunteers, we drove down to a farmer’s house, where we followed him through his fields, and down to a little row boat, where he paddled us around a smaller lake next to lake Titicaca and to the ruins of Sullistani (funeral towers from important people in Inca and pre-Inca times).
Josh didn’t make it up the many stairs to the top to see the ruins, so I made the trek up hill at high altitude (over 13900 ft, about 4 times Calgary’s elevation) with our guide Ivan, and took some photos. The air is very thin, and even short exertion is a challenge, especially when you are already queezy. I definitely feel for those who attempt any portion of the Everest climb or any other exertion at high altitude. Ugh.
Before we left home we visited the travel clinic and got our shots, but also a prescription for Cipro incase we got a stomach bug. But do you think I brought it with us? No, I did not. And because i didn’t fill it, now I think we could have used it. However, I love other countries and their medical system. I asked the front desk at our hotel for the dose and amount of pills that I needed, and a taxi brought them about 10 minutes later. Awesome. So, this bug has affected Josh more than myself, for some reason, and after 36 hours of no improvement, actually worsening, we decided to take the antibiotic plunge. Hope it works. With less than one week left, we can’t afford to be held up by stomach ailments.
Tomorrow we are heading to the Colca Canyon for some more high altitiude. Its a 2 day, 1 night tour through the Canyon and on to the city of Arequipa (and thank goodness only 8500 ft). I am hoping that Josh will soon wake from his lengthy slumber to go somewhere for dinner.