Peru 2014: Kindness is an international language

By Kay Manley

Was there great curiosity as we arrived in Llachon for our first homestay? Absolutely yes! The people in Llachon speak Quechua as their first language with Spanish as the second. But the real language was that of human kindness which needs no translation.

Our hosts could not have been more welcoming.  Each mama greeted us with pink and yellow necklaces made of exquisite cantuta flowers, the national flower of Peru. The stunning view of Lake Titicaca ( elevation of 12,507) was almost unbelievable in its beauty.

We helped prepare the meal which was all locally sourced and delicious. The soup was made with dried potatoes, a staple of the area. After a siesta, our mamas dressed us in traditional clothing as we perused the handicrafts made with great care and attention.

Suddenly it was time for dinner, followed by dancing around a eucalyptus bonfire. Steep trails, under brilliant stars, led us to our little rooms for restorative rest under thick piles of blankets.