Thursday, March 1, 2012

Final Days and Goodbye

February 29, 2012

Monday was a rough day. I had to leave very early in the morning to go to Cusco and fill out motorcycle papers. All I wanted to do was be in town and spend time with the people I care about, but selling the bike bought me a couple extra days so I couldn’t really complain.

So we headed to the first place where he knew someone in customs. It was bad news. I knew that nationalizing a motorcycle was a very difficult process. He finally called my customs guy in Tacna and the only legal option was to go to Chile immediately and get the right papers. We went to a few other places and got the same news. So we ended up waiting all day for a call from a woman who knew a guy. That option turned out to be illegal and not very desirable for him. But it was too late to drive to another country in one night. I felt bad but I lowered the price because I knew it would be tough.

While all that was going on, I got a call from the people of Soccma. Apparently the company is ready to transfer me the money, but only into a Peruvian bank account. Awesome. That would have been great info a week ago. So I wandered around Cusco trying to find a bank that would open an account for a foreigner. The only bank that would do it is Banco de la Nacion, but the main branch in Cusco couldn’t do it, only a tiny outlying branch. Really? I just had to laugh. So in the late afternoon I went to Urubamba and opened an account. So now I have a bank account in Peru. But I only had one day left so I gave my information to the people and left the ATM card there for them. So we will see if they can get the money into that account and then actually pay for the work that has already been done.

I got back to town tired and deflated. I was worried about the motorcycle because the paperwork was going to be so sketchy. I didn’t want to screw him over, but it was too late for me do to any of the other options I had. I wish I could have finished up for the people of Soccma. I was feeling pretty crappy and wandered over to La Esquina. The lights were off but the lock wasn’t on the door. So I walked in to see what was up…


Haha, so Kiri got everyone in town together to give me a surprise going away party. No way! It was awesome. It really meant a lot.


Hmmm... chips

Alicia, Laura, Me, and Ana


Tuesday I had to go back to Urubamba to fill out more paperwork for the bike. Once again, I just wanted to spend my last day in town but I owed it to him to fill out the papers. That evening we planned a dinner with my closest friends at the dorm. We cooked up 8 pounds of lamb I bought in Cusco, Alicia made an incredible spinach salad, and there were roasted vegetables as well. It was the perfect final night.

Wednesday morning I left for Cusco for my flight to Lima. It was pretty simple really. The four most important people in my life here were there to see me off.

Alicia, the heart and soul of Sacred Valley Project right now, took care of me this whole time. She fed me, sent me to the clinic, gave me a couch when I needed it, calmed me down when I got fired up about some injustice in Peru, and gave me important advice every time there was a big decision to make down here. I cannot thank you enough.

Ana was my little sister and a reminder of my students that I left behind. We had some great times. Thanksgiving was epic, Quinta Cruz has very special memories, tutoring the girls, chillin on the roof, discussing the Albergue, ice cream, there are too many to remember. Battling the dysfunctionality that is so often Peru can be fun and frustrating. So we had each other’s back. I will forever use our phrase when something doesn’t make sense…”I have a four-letter word for you, it starts with a P, and ends with an accented U.”

Keri was next. She is a replica of my own sister. They are the same age, have outgoing personalities, can make friends with complete strangers, and most importantly have the biggest hearts in the world. They both would do anything for anyone. We had many long talks at the house, a few motorcycle trips, and some deep discussions about what it means to serve in the Sacred Valley and around the world. Thank you.

The last one was by far the hardest. I fell hard for another volunteer down here. She is absolutely amazing. But our lives are spread across three continents and right now there is no future for us. Who knows if our paths will ever cross again. It was the toughest goodbye of my life.

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