SSV 2018 Session One! It’s hard to believe it’s already been so long since our trip in the Sacred Valley ended. You’re probably back to your usual routines— back in school (college for some!), sports, and the regular business of life back home, most likely sad that you aren’t eating potatoes with every single meal anymore. Hopefully you are enjoying and appreciating warm showers again! Whether we were making and passing (dropping?) bricks at service, trekking, or simply chilling at home base, the two weeks we spent together flew by! We hope you are still thinking about your time here and the impact it had both in the community and on each other, and hopefully you still think of this trip every time you hear The Middle come on the radio.
We started our week off by jumping right into community service work with Awamaki in the town of Patacancha. You’re missing those yellow lunches, aren’t you?? Though we didn’t get to see the finished product, the kitchen we helped build is complete now! We can be proud of the hard work we put in which will allow the women of the community to increase business through tours to their area. Tourists will be able to enjoy meals at the weaving center while learning more about the community of Patacancha, Awamaki, and how the woman weave their beautiful homemade goods.
In addition to service, we enjoyed many cultural activities including feeding llamas and alpacas, shopping at local markets, and traditional ceremonies. We ended our time together with the epic two-day Lares trek in the Andes and a day exploring Machu Picchu. Remember that amazing sunset from 14,000 feet at our campsite?! We also mastered the art of using Inca toilets. Larry and the rest of the dog squad made the trek even more enjoyable. It was challenging but felt so rewarding once we finished it. Some of us fell in streams while trekking, others of us fell off Machu Picchu. Never any dull moments!
Rafting down the Urubamba river, hiking the Lares trek, being enlightened by a Quechua author and Shaman, exploring ruins, hardcore parkour, a certain student shaving his eyebrows, and so many more memories were created in our two weeks together. We dove deeper in group activities and opened up with each other in mentor groups. You guys built an amazing, supportive community during your time together. We hope you all have taken the lessons you learned on this trip and applied them to your lives back home in meaningful ways. Thank you for your hard work, willingness to be open and vulnerable, and overall awesomeness.
Kelly and the SSV Peru Team