It’s been sixteen months since we landed in Houston after spending nine and a half months in Latin America. Our little chihuahua growled at us when we got into my parents’ car still wearing our hats from Nicaragua. It took him a while to warm up to us. Our intention was to get this post out right away. Well, American life happened. We visited Kate’s family in Northern California for three months then spent time with my family in Nashville and Houston. We have been back in Central Texas since the fall of 2015, working on projects we had planned while traveling and swimming daily in the cold springs that make this region so special.
Cusco – A Great Place for a Reunion
The best part of Cusco was getting to spend time with friends and family. We stayed in a sweet little hotel with five rooms in the San Blas neighborhood run by a Peruvian family and ate daily at some fantastic vegetarian restaurants. We ran into people we met in Chachapoyas, Yarinacocha and Potosí months before. The Cusco region is a major hub for travelers.
Visiting with Family in La Paz
We left Perú before seeing Machu Picchu so that we could meet Kate’s Aunt Indira while she was visiting La Paz. Indira has an interesting story. She’s from Kyrgyzstan. Kate’s Uncle Toby met her while mountain climbing in Central Asia. After marrying, they settled in Homer, Alaska to raise their son and daughter. Indira is an industrious woman. She bought a well known established business in Homer called A Better Sweater. It’s a rare store that sells handmade products from around the world.
We went with Indira to visit her various suppliers, our favorite of which was Artesania Sorata, owned by Diane Bellomy. Diane has been working with indigenous women for over 30 years in producing naturally died and hand woven products made of alpaca wool. We were also fortunate enough to meet Diane’s life long partner, Ron Davis, who installs water powered electrical generators throughout Bolivia. Both of these people are inspirational in what they do for others and the environment.