Friday, April 15, 2011

The Secret of the Andes

"Why Peru?" people asked me when they heard about our plans for spring break.  After all, I am not  known to navigate South American jungle mountaintops in my spare time.   I seldom daydream about crossing rickety suspension bridges over roaring rapids, or fording deep, stinky mud puddles on a borrowed mountain bike.   I don't believe I've ever waxed poetic about spending quality time with a cell phone deprived teenager.

And yet, I found myself in Peru. Doing all of those things.  And more.

There are two possible explanations:

1)  I read a book called Secret of the Andes when I was ten.  It's about an orphaned Inca boy who lives hidden away in the Peruvian mountains with a wise old man and a herd of llamas.    The boy goes on a journey (with the llamas), discovers something important and meaningful, then returns home to the wise old man who knew all along he'd be back.    Despite being a small black girl from a nuclear family in a pancake flat area of urban D.C.,  I somehow subliminally internalized this story as my personal destiny.    

2)  There is a god.

Given the weight that was lifted from me up in those mountains, and the joy in these faces, I am going with number 2.


  1. Absolutely wonderful photos, and I'm so glad the trip lightened the load a bit. You needed it.