My infatuation with travel began when I was 18 living abroad on an AFS scholarship. The experience changed my life in the sense that it opened me to adventure, to different cultures and it piqued my interest in foreign language. I was fortunate to have lived with an amazing AFS family, with whom I’m still in contact (we’re talking almost 40 years later). They taught me a lot about who I am and how to be in the world.
Term III at Elmira College has given me the opportunity to share with my students my love of Hispanic culture, the Spanish language, and the sheer joy of stepping into a totally new world. The trip this year really was special. Perhaps the blend of service work, the opportunity to play with Peruvian children, the chance to spend 4 days close to nature, and the physical challenge of the Inca Trail brought out the best in each member of our group. We were a combination of very diverse people, but we worked well together, and most of all, we enjoyed each other. Just as I was fortunate to be taken care of by wonderful people during my year abroad ages ago, we were also extremely fortunate to be in the care of the likes of Yure Chávez, his family, Donato, Daniel, Felipe, our porters, and William. They made our experience in Peru as authentic as it was pure fun (and even educational!).
I thank Elmira College for this opportunity, my 8 students for being el supergrupo, Yure & Co. for your attention, and Patricia at Jardín Progreso and Maruja at El Hogar de Menores for opening your doors to us.
Thank you, readers, for sharing our journey.