South America 2018

by juani913

South America 2018

My Beloved South America how much I’m going to miss you. What an Amazing place, full of wonder, full of history and full of amazing people, from the highlands of Colombia and Peru all the way down To the Flats of Uruguay. The more I travel, the more I realize that the world is not as violent, wicked, and chaotic as the television makes it out to be. I’ve encountered good people doing great things in all countries. I think this is in part because I chose to believe in the goodness of the world. If you think and believe that there is good out there then the Universe maneuvers to materialize this. The law of attractions affirms that what we put into the Universe comes back to us so we have to believe there is good in the world, we have to trust people, sometimes even strangers.

In Colombia my friends and I got stranded in the middle of the Mountains about 2 hours outside of Medellin, in unpaved dirt roads, after a rainy night. Not the best place to get stuck with a car and ours had a cracked radiator 🤦🏻‍♂️. In a difficult situation we chose to put our trust and faith in people and these people responded. We found a small town near by and met a wonderful old lady who took us to the house of the only Mechanic in town, a young man but experienced enough at 25 to take apart out car and fix our problem. He worked tirelessly on our car for almost 6 hours until he fixed the car, allowing us to get to the airport just in time to catch my flight to my next destination. We had no idea what this was going to cost us, we never discusses payment until the last minute of our whole ordel. We took about $400 dollars, and my friends i-phone and my go pro just in case we needed to use them as collateral. When we asked him how much, he only wanted about $30 USD. We payed him $100 which was much less than we had anticipated and thanked him tirelessly for his help. This guy was truly god-sent.

From Colombia I Traveled to Florianopolis, Brazil, a place where I used to go on vacation as a young child. I had wonderful memories of this place which all rushed back to the forefront of my brain once i stepped foot in this hilly beach town. I got to surf in the sun and also in the rain with the help of my teacher and friend, Matias, who helped me realize that the essence of surf is found in the relationship between man and nature. We met with some old friend’s of my parents whom i had not seen since i was 8 years old, Joaquin, the gorgeous Daniela and their amazing mother. It was good to re-connect with old faces and to see them doing so well. I’m in love with Brazil, with its natural beauty, with its samba and with the joy of its beautiful people.

After Brazil we drove in car down to Punta del Este, Uruguay, my little beautiful corner of the world, and then to the Capital Montevideo. I got a chance to reconnect with my family, to share experience and to spend time with them. It’s hard to live so far away from those you love so dearly and i’m thankful for this trip which allowed me to get a much needed dose of family love. I am blessed to have such a wonderful group of people whom I call family. From old friends, to my aunts and uncles, my amazing cousins who went the distance to make me feel welcome, my diamond of a sister and my mom and dad. I even got a chance to visit the cemeteries where my grandparents and grandma are buried and pay my respects. I think that rather than diminish, the love I share with my family is multiplied and strengthened by the distance between us.

Lastly, to culminate my trip, I traveled to Cusco, Peru, the navel of the world and heart of the Incan Empire. There we traveled along the famous Inca Trail, from Cusco to Machu Picchu, one of the new 7 wonders of the world. It was a great pleasure to travel alongside a group of close friends whom are family to me, and most of all my dad, who turned 57 the day before we began our journey. It was a remarkable experience, made better by the fact that i got to live it with such an amazing group of people, sharing morning suns, words, laughter, struggle and sweat, tears, and moonlit nights. The “Pumas” as our group was called, will always have a special place in my heart and memory. I’m so proud of my dad for finishing the trip, which was not easy for the youngsters, and he pulled through even though he had some knee issues to deal with. You are strong like a puma pops💪 .

What a remarkable experience to walk along the same paths that the ancient quechua people used to walk hundreds of years ago, it truly felt like sacred ground. I always had a fascination and reverence for indigenous people and for traditional ways of living. I concluded that human beings flourish better when in close relationship with the earth. The greatness of the Inca culture is found in its superb architecture, building a city where you would think no city could ever be. It’s found in its rich traditions, in the friendly temperament and inherent kindness of its people.

It was amazing, to be walking amongst the clouds, feeling as if you were in the presence of the sacred, close to the gates of heaven. You could almost feel the presence of the spirit of Pacha Mama, or Mother Earth. And the deeper you dwelled into the Mountain, the higher you went up the steep Inca steps the more you felt the majesty of life. You had to climb, one step at a time, at moments on your hands and knees, in order to earn those jaw dropping landscapes and sceneries. The higher the climb the better the view. This trip was very much like a pilgrimage for me, one that allowed me to shed my skin, letting go of the old and the negative to make room for the new and the positive. I feel as if I was re-charged by the nurturing spirit of Pacha Mama.

What I admired most about the Quechua people is their ability to believe that anything is possible; yes, even building a city in the skies. Like our guide Climaco would say to us in a constant reminder, especially when the energy of the group was low, “Si se Puede”/ “Yes we can”and it’s true. Anything is possible as long as we have the mental fortitude to see it trough. Anything is possible if we truly believe in it, then take proactive actions in that direction. I thank life, god, pacha mama, or whoever is responsible, for allowing me to partake in this unforgettable experience.

Thank you South America for giving me so much in so little time. There is no Goodbye in the Quechua language, instead they use the word ‘Tunpananchiskama’/ Until we meet again, which promises a re-encounter, a continuation and never and end.

Your eternal lover,

Juani Z

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