Love Changing Lives

Michelle, Traveller

Closing my eyes I can still see it, hear it, smell it: Peru. Hiking the Inca Trail once was not enough – so I did it again.

And even then, I wasn’t done. While I haven’t been back to Peru since my second climb, I haven’t stopped raising money for the in need people I saw there.

I'm full of memories–a full moon rising over a snowcapped mountain from the doorway of my small yellow tent, a group of small children singing for their dinner. I cherish the feelings it gave me, like the natural high you gain reaching the top of Dead Woman’s Pass with the Andes rolling out before you. I can still hear the music of street musicians and the early morning quiet of the Rain Forest broken by the attack of a Black Cayman. And I remember how our guide would bring the Inca Trail alive with amazing stories of the warriors who lived, conquered, and died along the trail.

I've been inspired to good by what I saw. There were children who, when I handed them a notebook and pens, didn’t know what to do with them because they had never seen them before. It's hard to forget seeing a barefoot mother selling little wooden owls to feed her desperate children or old men who should have been at home relaxing, instead carrying tents up the mountain to feed their families. Almost a year after coming home from the Amazon Rain Forest, I’ve written a book about my travels to Peru and begun giving lectures to raise money for the porters and their families when they were flooded out of their homes and jobs during the last rainy season.

Peru is not only where I've had two of the best vacations of my life but it's where I've heard music performed beyond my wildest dreams and it's home to some of the most wonderful people I've ever met. For me, Peru is feeling of peace, people to help, children to sponsor and the wildest and most beautiful place I could ever imagine.

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