We originally intended to go to Turkey, since we hadn’t yet been to that part of the world. Airfare turned out to be quite expensive, so I looked to South America, another continent not yet visited. I liked the word Peru, and airfare to Peru was a lot cheaper than Turkey. I hadn’t watched any documentaries or movies about the country, so it was a blank slate. I couldn’t think of any news about the country, which I inferred to mean it was politically stable and not trying to nuke the US or any allies. I didn’t even really think of Machu Picchu until my friend excitedly blurted “Machu Picchu!” into the phone when I mentioned Peru, as if it was a word-association drinking game. I would have lost.
We had an overnight flight from Raleigh, through Miami, and were due to arrive in the capital of Peru around 5am Sunday morning. On the flight from Raleigh to Miami, we met a French guy who is currently working in Raleigh. He was on his way to Bolivia to climb a mountain with his friend from France. On the flight from Miami to Lima, we were seated among a group of college students from Boston who were going to Peru to study the shamanism there, as part of an alternative psychology course. I never learned the name of the girl sitting next to me, but she said she had two more years of college and had no idea what she wanted to do afterwards. Maybe something with horse therapy. We chatted quite a bit, and I recommended she join the Peace Corps if she liked this experience.
Sera and Zac in the