Be the Cause

Volunteering. Cooperation. Barter.

These were the three principles upon which the Quechuan society that inhabited Machu Picchu was based.  There were no slaves and all the structures were built in cooperation and owned by no one person.  There was no money and, as a result, no greed.  They realized that this was the only way to guarantee permanency for their culture (but of course the Conquistadors had no appreciation for these principles…)     Machu Picchu was breathtaking.  We arrived very early in the morning before the site was over run by busloads of tourists and managed to experience the place in a somewhat silent, meditative state.  Our guide was extremely informative (though somewhat hard to understand) and he taught us much about the ancient people who inhabited the area hundreds of years ago.  it was interesting to hear how skewed Hiram Bingham’s (the “discoverer” of the site, in 1911) interpretation of the different buildings ended up being.  He attributed many of the structures to serve more warlike or violent purposes then we now believe them to have been.  It was extremely upsetting to hear how stones have been damaged and destroyed in the filming of beer commercials or clearing a heliport for the president’s helicopter to land (so he didn’t have to bus it up like the rest of us.)  Also, none of the people in the village below gain any income from the site that was home to their ancestors – all the money is diverted to Lima.  The only gain to their economy comes from what the tourists spend in town. 

We’re now taking the train back to Cusco and then on a plane for Quito tomorrow.  More news later from Ecuador!

Una Familia. Un Mundo.

We´re well into our first week of the Service Vacation to Peru and Ecuador and one thing is very clear – it is a small world after all. Yes, people can speak different languages, and communicate in many different ways, and will always have their cultural and regional differences. But serving others, especially with love – in a different continent far away from home is the single greatest gift we can give each other to bridge any and all differences…

The care and detail provided by Pastor Wilfred of Camino De Vida in Cusco, Peru, in ensuring a meaningul stay here in Cusco has been truly amazing. The Peruvian people have been very warm and friendly – especially in those instances where we lost our way, with no cell phones or guidemaps on hand.

Sonali telling me before I left – ¨We hope you guys come back home soon, don´t stay there and start another Seva Cafe!¨…as we are walking through the streets of Cusco, a young American girl stopping us and informing us of a cafe where everyone is a volunteer, and the proceeds are used to sustain the local community…

Yanapay House
www.aldeayanapay.org.
Yes, Sonali, we wil be back soon.  While not quite the same, a ¨Seva Cafe¨ already exists here!
The Seva Continues…but right now it´s off to Macchu Picchu!!
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