The title of this post basically explains our past four weeks, especially this past week. We were continually told that the stoves would begin, but they never did. After sitting around playing cards a majority of the time here we figured that our time would be better spent if we left and continued onto another journey traveling around Peru and possibly other close by countries. We know that the stoves will begin at some point and the donated money is being put to good use, but it is a shame we will not see them implemented. We decided that it was in our best interest to leave Chijnaya instead of waiting for tomorrow. It was a very stressful decision, more on my, Emily’s, end, because I tried to stay positive that the stoves would begin. The stoves were to begin Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, and finally Friday, which I was hopeful about. After much discussion with Hannah I emailed my father, Chancey, and those in the Chijnaya organization. After reading my fathers email, Hannah and I teared, okay or bawled, from the words of a father and the stress that we were under. By Wednesday I was defeated, we were both frustrated, and Hannah said, “Emily a decision has to be made now. We leave or stay.” Her parents are SO KIND and allowed me to use minutes on Hannah’s phone to call my father to talk to him. After our discussion, I knew it was best for Hannah and my sanity to depart from Chijnaya. We got back on the motorcycle with Jhuver to take us to Chijnaya and we spoke to Jhuver once at our home. It is hard to tell him our feelings because of the language barrier, but we told him it was in an email for him to translate. This discussion with him took place after he stated that there would be a meeting Friday (so no stoves beginning) and the stoves would probably begin Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. That statement, as Hannah pointed out, definitely solidified the decision we made, for me, and put me at ease of if we were to stay in Chijnaya our last week and a half would be wondering if the stoves would actually begin. We decided to go to Arequipa for the weekend to do research and determine where we will travel for the next week.
Hannah and I discussed that we would never take our time here back because each of us learned extremely important, yet different for both, life lessons. We learned things that will carry us through life, especially in this next chapter we embark on as graduates, and learned a lot about ourselves. As we began packing, we were bittersweet. It was sad to say goodbye as it usually is, especially since we became really close with Hannah’s host family. Lourdes got Hannah a beautiful alpaca sweatshirt as a going away present, which she was thrilled about and so thankful for. Thursday we were able to spend the day with Lourdes, the mom, and Naid, the little girl, at the market in Pucara and watch little toddlers traditional dancing in the next town over, which was pretty hysterical and adorable at the same time. One group had two coaches that were going crazy running everywhere yelling (the coach reminded us of the coach Abby from our friend Maggie’s favorite show Dance Moms).
Lourdes and Naid picking vegetables at the market.
Monday was the celebration of the opening of the cheese factory in Chijnaya. Many of us gathered in a circle to listen to the presentations and watch the “cutting of the ribbon,” which in Chijnaya is a ceramic pot full of water hanging in the doorway and being smashed by a hammer. Cerveza and food was passed around in celebration. One day this week we learned about the history of the Andean region through tapestry work crafted by the tapestry maestra of the community. Her work was beautiful and it was intriguing to hear about the history, which was detailed on the tapestries.
We left Chijnaya Friday night and it was quite sad as we departed. We suddenly looked at each other on the ride from Pucara to Juliaca and said, “We just left for good. This is so strange. I am pretty sad about this actually.” We waved our goodbyes to our home of the last four weeks and hugged our families. Salud to Chijnaya and our next journey!
Us with Hannah’s family.
Left to right top row: Alfredo, Emily, Lourdes, Hannah.
Bottom row: Naid and Miguel
After much research we figured our money and time would be best spent if we stayed here in Arequipa for the week and planned multiple day trips and excursions while here. There is much to do and see around here and one thing we are very excited about is going to a chocolate factory and learning how to make organic chocolate. There is also a lot of hiking and athletic activities here which, as most my family and friends know (oh, this is Hannah now by the way), I am not athletic in any way shape or form. Plus, there is a lot of mountain biking and as my family will most likely laugh about I somehow forgot how to ride a bike in between being 12 and last summer. Anyhow, we have come up with a list of things we can do around here such as museums and scenic areas and possibly along with outdoor exciting activities that don’t require much athleticism for me, sorry Emily! We will keep you posted on all of our adventures and it might even be sooner rather than later now that we have easy access to wifi. Hope everyone had a great Independence Day, ours was mostly spent waiting for Jhuver to come pick us up and traveling to Arequipa but we have enjoyed (actually envied) seeing everyone’s posts about their celebrations.
Notice: Use of undefined constant AKISMET__PLUGIN_URL - assumed 'AKISMET__PLUGIN_URL' in /home3/nourish1/public_html/home/wp-content/plugins/akismet/class.akismet.php on line 845