Thanksgiving in Latin America….Peru, Peru, what a place where the sky is blue…not to mention, we get to celebrate atop Machu Picchu! Aquas Calientes, hot water as we like to say, is the town that draws people in to take them to the stunning holy city of Machu Picchu. Driving by bus, riding by train, or hiking in are the three choices for seeing this once majestic and thriving city. ARCC 2K12 chose the alternate route: “KM 104, we want more…hike to KM 110, can we do it again?” Seriously, though. I mean, rigorous as it may have been, you can’t help but marvel, drop your jaw, and try to close your mouth yet realize that somehow it won’t close because it is so BREATHTAKING, STUNNING, UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE. I mean, seriously, how did those Incas do it? They made a town in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere. I’m telling you, n-o-w-h-e-r-e, and somehow, they lived, breathed, loved, laughed, and celebrated life. Just like we got to do together as a group.
As we were able to Skype and call our families on Thanksgiving Day, we also were able to relish in the fact that we are in PERU for Thanksgiving. How many people get to be so blessed? WOW, thank you parents, guardians, family, and friends for such amazing opportunities you have showered upon us, just wow. As Thanksgiving Day approached, we stormed the city for the perfect restaurant to celebrate: Toto’s house: right along the roaring river with the gushing green mountains pouring into the town. Amy and Brooke were our Leaders of the Week and they made an incredibly special day for all of us. They spent the whole day wrapping specialized gifts for each person in the group and went to the restaurant early to give the table an extra touch. Brooke even made an old-school cut out of a Turkey with construction paper- it took us all back to pre-K and to the great celebrations of pilgrims and Indians. Amy and Brooke both placed confetti, gifts, notes, and a lot of love on our beautiful table. As we sat down to partake in this meal together, we were thankful. We each went around and shared something we were grateful for and opened our gifts that brought tons of laughter and a lot of wonderful sentiment.
Following dinner, we celebrated with APPLE PIE AND ICE CREAM- how did this restaurant know that is exactly what everyone wanted to make their meal complete?! Legit. Then, we were presented with this dance performance of what the Inca times were like when Machu Picchu was thriving. It was as if we were celebrating Peruvian heritage as well as our own. As we only have two weeks left of this 90-day journey, we reminiscence on all of the amazing things we have seen, ways we have changed, and understandings/outlooks we never even thought possible to have, we are grateful for each person we have met along the way, our family and friends who support us, and for this incredible experience that has shown us new ways of living. May you all be blessed and know you are loved by all of us. December 13 is just around the corner and we look forward to seeing you all, yet are sad to put an end to this wonderful journey.
Happy Thanksgiving and much, much love.