Letter to You from GLA Mentor Maria
Hellooooo you wonderful people!
I hope this letter finds you happy, healthy and loving your school year / first college semester / rugby academy (I think that covers it). The month we spent together in Andahuaylillas and beyond flew by, but I know it will remain tangled in my memory tighter than that crazy llama’s dreadlocks. Returning to the U.S. was surreal, wasn’t it? The first message I received when I turned my phone back on was: “Donald Trump is running for president.” Well, well. Welcome back to the good ol’ US of A! I hope reverse culture shock wasn’t too hard on you all, and that you’ve been able to share some of the unforgettable moments from Peru with your family and friends.
And in case you need a refresher, here are some of my favorites:
-Singing by the campfire underneath the Southern stars
-Lugging huge bags of wheat down the mountain, but not nearly as well as the 70-year-old men
-Learning how to knit, make felt balls, and practice Spanish with the women of Q’ewar
-The beautiful walk along the train tracks
-Soup. More soup. Here try the soup because IT’S SOUPER DO YOU WANT MORE SOUP
-Music in the plaza
-The splinter from the bridge / saving that entire litter of puppies
-Those intense hills on our bike ride (totally worth it)
-Cooking and playing pickup soccer at Carmen’s house
-Meditation by the river
-The night hike, and let’s definitely just ignore the trail. Who needs the trail?
-Chess in the garden
-You’ll never laugh at a Shaman again
…I could go on and on and on. Suffice it to say, each and every one of you is incredible. I think I can safely speak for all the mentors when I say we were lucky to have met you. Your incredible work ethic, curiosity, compassion for each other, dedication to service, and go-with-the-flow attitudes (what internet café?) surprised and amazed me every single day. And how fortunate were we to have the amazing people of Andahuaylillas share their community with us for an unforgettable month?
So quick update for those of you wondering: We’re coordinating with Julio and Lucy to set up a donations page on the website to raise funds for the school construction. Apparently, fundraising websites aren’t really set up to link to foreign organizations. But the good news: this will drive more people to the actual Q’ewar website. And as you all know, purchasing dolls is even better than donating.
So if you’re all starting to think about Christmas shopping, don’t forget Q’ewar can help check off your list!
Have a wonderful year you guys! I hope one day our paths cross again so we can have a Campfire Choir reunion, play Heads Up, avoid doors with glass windows, chat in fluent Spanish, and chug Inca Kola.