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Don’t Sweep the Walls – or – Things in Peru are Different

The most social place in any house is the kitchen. In this, at least, my Peruvian homestay was like any other home in the world. Life happened while meals were being cooked. It was the specific details of that life that constantly reminded me that I was living in a different culture. I loved living […]

Susan’s next adventure – and first real writing job!

I’m planning a trip back to Peru in March and April, this time not just for fun, but with a purpose. I’m going to be working for a non-profit organization (Awamaki) based in Ollantaytambo, a small town not far from the famous Inca ruins at Machu Picchu. Ollantaytambo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited […]

points of re-entry

The United States is quiet. No car horns. No shouting vendors. No roaring, muffler-less combis or downshifting buses. It’s clean. I took a walk around Syreena’s suburban neighborhood and found a single piece of trash: a cardboard McDonald’s box. Everyone has American accents, and I no longer have to do a double take when […]

on the rocks

The streets were slippery in the rain. My battered red sneakers slapped against the gray concrete in a steady rhythm, and I twisted my wet hair back behind my ears for the tenth time. Dawn was red this morning. The trees of the park outside the hostel’s front door blocked most of the sky, but […]