Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer Snapshots: The Beauty of Peru

"I've been around the world,
they say that love is blind,
but I love you cause I've seen you a hundred times
So amazed at the world that You made"   
-- Jimmy Needham, "How Great Thou Art"

That's exactly what I think when I reflect on my trip to Peru. From the ocean to the mountains and valleys. The salt mines and ancient ruins. I was constantly in awe of the beauty this world holds. And how can we live in a beautiful world and doubt that there is a God? It's hard for me to fathom because I couldn't help but give glory and worship God as we drove up mountains, took trains and boats along the riverbed, and trekked through the rain forest.

Peru is a fabulous place.

When I first decided to do this trip, it was solely to see Macchu Picchu. I read some National Geographic article about "Places You Want to See Before It's Too Late," and they implied that the government might shut Macchu Picchu down to help persevere the archaeological site. So I decided to take students to Peru. In 6th grade, we talk a little bit about the Ancient Inca civilization, and since most of my students are of Latino/Hispanic/Spanish heritage, I thought a trip to South America would interest them.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but Peru definitely didn't met any of my expectations. Maybe if I had read the guidebook I had been given, it would have helped. But it was also nice to be pleasantly surprised.

Lima is a big, modern city. And it's a desert. While it is a coast city, it almost never rains and the construction of the city is a testament to that. No sewage or rain gutters along the streets, but also not too many skyscrapers because the ground is too dry/hard to create a deep enough foundation (I think the highest building is like 23 stories or something).

A lot of the trip was visiting and exploring historical sites: monasteries and catacombs, Inca cities and sacred worships grounds. But there was a good portion of the trip where we were left to our own devices. And it was nice to also soak in the culture and walk up and down quaint stone streets and eat in local restaurants.

Every day felt like an adventures, and it never failed that we would turn a corner and I would find something else to excite me. It was like having a million little love notes from God. Just scattered around for me to glean at my own pleasure.

Here are a few snapshots. Once I get the ones from my camera organized, I'll write more focused blogs to share my trip and the things we learned and discovered!

Trying to cross the street in Lima
Surfers in the Pacific Ocean
Inca site outside of Cusco

Macchu Piocchu


Farmers in the fields. 

Moray

Snow-capped mountains. Absolutely breathtaking--whether on the ground or in the air.

Peru's "Golden Gate Bridge" in Puerto Maldanado


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