Wednesday, July 17, 2013

6/14/13 Living in the Unfamiliar

                So, I had a thought today as I walked through the market on the way to work and sat in the office that hasn’t had power for days….is life without my daily conveniences, such as a microwave to cook my dinner, or fast food restaurants on every block, or pre-prepared items that we pick up in the grocery store a bad thing? I’ve been watching my host mom cook three great meals every day of the week with fresh ingredients, fruits and vegetables that she probably knows the location from where they were harvested. I also haven’t seen them once go out to a restaurant to eat since I have arrived, whereas I on the other hand have made an effort to continue my American desire to try as many restaurants as possible.  The days I stay at my host families’ house have allowed me to really taste Peruvian foods…the paltas, or avocados, taste so much richer, the mangos sweeter and the gooseberries or aguaymanto’s, so delicious. Did we get away from what made food delicious and turn it into just a convenience? Yes, life here may be a bit more harsh…okay a lot more harsh and yes respiratory, diarrheal

So many varieties of Corn

and parasitic diseases are common, but there is a richness in this little town of Urubamba, based on culture, good food, a lot of bread, family, friends and focus on community; it’s, well, an absolutely beautiful thing to be a part of. Lunch isn’t eaten in your car here, people don’t spend half their time on a cell phone here, people have real human contact and I have to say that I really love the feel of the community closeness. But, hey I am feeling inspired for the moment…I will soon miss my episodes of Anthony Bourdain and Law & Order and the privacy to hide away in my house when needed because that is my reality. So, for now I’ll appreciate what I’ve learned in the Sacred Valley and maybe bring a piece of what I learned home.. It’s amazing how up and down you can go with you ‘re living in the unfamiliar. I haven’t taken the time to write about the days that I miss my family so much it hurts, or how much I miss summertime BBQ’s as I am freezing my butt off, or the days I feel incredibly lonely as I really don’t know anyone the way I do at home. I try not to talk too much about that because, well, no one wants to hear about that and those feelings come in short spurts and then something amazing will happen or something new will come along that I have never done before and I realize that this is just part of it…miss your home…miss your people, but live it up while the opportunity is present because when will this chance in life ever happen again and when will the moment you’re experiencing ever repeat itself???

Rural community in Pacha, Peru just outside Urubamba
My temporary home: Urubamba, Peru
Peru Tidbit: Definitely no toilet paper in the toilets, the system cannot handle it so all paper goes in the waste basket provided. Oh, and many toilets don’t have a seat, so the standing technique will be used…sorry ladies, but that is just the way it is. 

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