While in Lima the first time, I met someone briefly that turned out to be someone very special.
How it all happened is pretty crazy though…
- Javier, my friend from business school and savior/salvador set me up with his aunt, Consuelo, to volunteer in Yauya with her rural library project.
- Javier also connected me with his cousin’s wife, a fellow American from Cleveland no less, who worked at Centrum Business School. She helped me get my foot in the door there to give a speech there.
- While giving my speech at Centrum Business School, I talked about the volunteering I did in Yauya with Jatin Nani. All of a sudden, someone in the audience, the girl who was taking my picture with a professional camera, actually, yelled out “Consuelo.. that’s my aunt!” Immediately I looked up at Javier, who was also in the audience, and he gave me a very confused look I had never seen on his face before.
- After the speech she came up and talked to me briefly, but was shooed away by the organizer since she is an employee and there were students lining up behind her to ask me questions. I found out she is related to Consuelo from the other side of the family, which is why Javier didn’t know her.
- I later found out she normally doesn’t stay very long for events. She is the communications person for the school and normally just takes pictures, writes up a summary of the event, and leaves after 15 minutes. But she said she liked what I had to stay and that’s why, 45 minutes into my speech, she was still there and was able to hear that we have this special connection with Yauya, a Peruvian village too small to be in Google Maps.
Lots of things had to happen for all of this to play out the way it did. I thanked the staff at Centrum and got in touch with her electronically. While in Arequipa we started speaking daily by email, then out of the blue she called me since I put my Peruvian cell phone number in Facebook back in Mancora.
I had planned to stay in Arequipa longer, continuing to sell bread and help the children of Rayo de Sol. But after that first call, which lasted three hours and extended way past my bedtime, I knew I had to return to Lima early to explore what all this means.
I cut out going to Puno. It’s supposed to be beautiful, but at 3860m/12400ft I knew I’d be freezing as usual. I kind of had freezing fatigue at this point.
I also cut out volunteering in Cusco. But no visit to Peru is complete without visiting Cusco’s incredible sites, especially Machu Pichu. So I went to Cusco for four days and three nights and arrived in Lima after a 21-hour bus ride on Friday, May 4, 2012.
What followed were three intense weeks of awesomeness that have no place being shared publicly. I didn’t expect something like this to happen. I didn’t want something like this to happen. But that’s exactly why it happened
Sometimes “Lightning strikes the heart”…
So, let’s see what happens going forward..