Wednesday, July 15th Blog by Easton Bowring



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Well we have finally arived in Peru! After an 8 hour plane ride, we dropped from the sky to the beautiful night view of Lima, Peru. The wonderfully (sarcastic) cold airport caused everyone to jump for joy as we stepping into the humid, and hot outdoors of Lima. Sarah Ziegler, a first time rememberable plane rider said, “I wish we would have ran into more turbulence, but it was nice, but I prefer car rides.” After flying to Iquitos, we got our first view of the third world country in the light.

After stepping off the plane, we were stunned from the green that was spreading out from one end of the sky to the other, with tree’s stretching from the ground to the heavens. We were overcome with a warm welcoming from our in country coordinator, Carlos and his crew. Arriving in Iquitos brought many new and different views of the Peruvian culture.

The Amazon river stunned us as we took the 2 hour boat ride from Iquitos to the Heliconia lodge where we are staying. There is nothing like the amazon river splashing onto your face as you race the other two boats down to the lodge. Karla Schwarting said “(The Amazon River) was fabulous. It gave me goose bumps thinking about just being on the Amazon River”.

Arriving at the lodge was like arriving to a beautiful mansion after living under a rock for 3 years. After seeing the Peruvian houses, I personally felt guilty for staying in such a beautiful place in the middle of very poor people.

There is nothing quite like arriving to a village with people cheering, banners waiving, and music playing. The Peruvians filled us with joy as they gladly welcomed us into their village. Opening ceremonies was an amazing experience.  Vanessa Shipley told us that the opening ceremonies “were great. It was fun how they were teaching us little and small things. Everyone was so happy.”  Shae Barber, an alum leader said, “everyone was super nice, and I loved how excited the kids were to play with us”.

The day was spent playing games, digging holes, dancing, singing, sweating, and drinking LOTS of water. When asked what his favorite thing of the day was, Avery Cognard said, “Wrestling with the kids. At first we were playing tag, but the rules were not clear for the kids. It slowly turned into the kids trying to tackle me and Sam. It was a great way to get to know the kids, and it was super fun”. Katy Mayer said “I really liked how towards the end of the day, that we were all playing with the kids and no one wanted to leave. I loved how we could still interact with the kids even though there was a language barrier. Their patience is very valuable. They are so patient with us, and simply amazing because they accept and understand us as we try to communicate with them. They love us, and we love them. I also loved how appreciative they were of us”.

Being in Peru is a wonderful experience. I personally am very thankful for the countless hours spent by parents, volunteers, Youthlinc workers, and advisors who planned and organized this trip so that I can enjoy it. The people are amazing, the food is good, and Peruvians are great. Peru is amazing.