A Passion for Peace

Responsibility, respect and a loving connection with all beings and for this Earth we share.

Snapshot Impressions

It's been a whirlwind of a month in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru, and I wish to share some glimpses of memorable moments in that time.

Middle-aged men and little girls alike excitedly feeding ducks in a waterfront park with a Loch Ness monster statue in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

A waiter arguing with me that a flour tortilla is actually corn because that's what they order from the producer and that I will not be sick eating it. (I avoided it but ended up with soy sauce gluten poisoning anyway.)

Our bus into Peru dropping us at a Customs Patrol Center at 3am. The guards gave us two plastic chairs to sit/sleep in til sunrise while they watched a movie about a Hispanic woman who met American hippies on a beach and got drunk and drugged.

Luke seeing a huge splash in the sea and subsequently witnessing the breachings and spout-outpourings of a huge humpback whale migrating home while breakfasting at our hotel in Punta Sal, Peru. (Photo on left: hotel view)

When our taxi van got a flat tire in northern Peru the driver attempting to drive the wheel onto a rock in lieu of using a jack but instead using the rock to dislodge the entire front bumper.

Listening to a man rile a crowd of educators who then tranquilly marched with their students through the streets of Piura, Peru to protest low teachers' wages while police in full riot gear and shields stood by.

After a man in a fake janitor suit swept my bag away, our landlady and her maid marching me back to a mall in Arequipa, Peru, screaming at the security guards and insisting I file a police report, all of this concluding six hours later with a policeman writing a report typed by lifting his finger before pressing into each key.

Border guards in Bolivia denying my dollars because they 'looked bad', saying it's real money in the US but not in Bolivia. (Only US citizens have to pay $135 visa, no one else.)

Ubiquitous in Bolivia: llama fetuses and dried baby llamas used for religious ceremonies and sugary popcorn that has the texture of a cheese puff. (Photo on right: a real llama)

Everywhere we go finding few parks with grass fenced off so as not to be used and being chastised by police not to touch it or even to lie on each other's lap on a bench.

Following "Love Day" a series of weddings in a church on a busy street in La Paz with musicians, guests throwing confetti and the couple dancing in the street outside while another wedding is taking place inside.

Feeling like I was sitting at the top of the world on an Andean mountain of higher altitude than Everest base camp, meditating and taking in the view. (Photo on left: the Andes outside La Paz)

Finding (British) Indian food for the first time on this trip. Verdict: tasty and permanently out of papadum.

Hiking pre-Incan ruins of Tiwanku/Aymara at a famous temple site and on Isla del Sol where a mesa is still used for ceremonies near the sacred Puma rock where they believe life began at Lake Titicaca. (Photo below: Isla del Sol)

Our cute Spanish colonial loft-like apartment in Cusco, Peru, home of the Incas, gateway to Machu Picchu, and so full of tourists that a sweet-natured shoeshiner spending 10 minutes cleaning up Luke's converse knock-offs in a park asked for $15 for his services instead of the local price of $2. (Luke told him the shoes cost less than $20 to begin with.)

Scouting out the local market of food and artisan wares, complete with cow and pig heads for sale, though what you use them for I am not quite sure. (I'll spare you the picture.)

Posted byValerie at 2:08 AM 2 comments