Back in 2007, I got to spend January down in Peru for college credit. We did some business consulting working with the organization ProPeru. Anyway, I think I have so many great memories from that trip - but here are a couple of them.
1. Building the "poop stove" in the random village in the Andes mountains. Women and children get very sick in many of the villages because they did not know how to build stoves with chimneys. Their stoves were filling up their huts with smoke and causing a lot of respiratory problems. Our group went in and showed them how to build stoves out of these stones (which I believe ProPeru provided) and a mixture of dirt, poo, and wetness. I seriously saw kids mixing this up with their feet (imagine something like grape stomping for wine...only this is poo stomping for stoves). Haha. Myself and another girl in my group helped a guy who was building a stove for a restaurant he wanted to start in the village. Here is a picture of the completed project along with the family.
2. Machu Picchu. Not a lot of things in my life have left me breathless. This place - it did. I could spend DAYS there literally. I think my favorite part of the trip was getting to Machu Picchu early and the fog was still down in the "city" and we had hiked up the trail to get a good view of the ruins. Here is a picture of the fog - and then when it finally lifted.
3. Lastly, there is a story I tell most folks who know me about my time in Peru. When I was a kid, my first pet was Jitters. He was a guinea pig and I loved him. I even showed him in the 4-H fair. One day he got really sick and ended up dying. He was the first "death" that I remember. I know I had many pets (dogs and cats) before that had passed away - but Jitters sticks with me for some reason. I remember crying for days, whenever I would think about Jitters. He is buried in the garden of the house I grew up in - my parents moved away when I was in college...but Jitters will always be there. Anyway, in Peru - guinea pigs are a delicacy. Families have guinea pigs running around their house and when it is time to cook a fancy meal - they are ....*cough* USED *cough*. I knew this going down there and I knew it was going to be inevitable. It happened one night. The family cooked us all up a special meal of ....yes "Cuy" (guinea pig). Here is the big pile of our "yummy" food for the evening.
|Notice - I have already eaten the leg. Slowly and steadily. Don't want to offend when they offer you their best!|