Though my 'whiteness' may remind them of my colonial forefathers and foremothers,
no one disrespects me here.
Though their desire is to have their country all to themselves, 
they accept my 'time' here.
I am everywhere that they are.
I shop at their markets, 
I walk their streets, 
I visit their ancient land, 
I am in their space.
They need me and they must hate that, 
if they hate anything at all.
They sell me their bright colored purses and their soft woven alpaca sweaters.
They insist on selling me more things because they know I will buy if they persist.
Their things are beautiful and well made.
Their things cost very little.
I buy their things to give as gifts.
I buy their things because it feeds their families.

I never saw one confrontation among them.
Not one loud discussion.
Not one drunken brawl.
I never saw one woman ogled at or flirted with in all the places that I visited.
In the small towns, everyone says, 'Buenos Dias' to one another, 
even to me.
The Elders are respected and the children know their place, 
Though most Peruvians have calloused and dirty hands, 
their hearts are clean, 
they are clean.
They walk slowly.
They move to a silent drum.
An ancient heartbeat.
There is no hurry.
They work hard with one another and for one another.
They smile as they work.
I wonder the age of some of the Elders because of the lines on their face,
the spirit in their eyes look a thousand years old, 
yet they are young, 
they are healthy.
I humble myself when I look at them.
They receive my look and return it kindly.
Their children behave the same.
The children laugh and play, 
they aren't unkind to one another, 
they share.
The children walk around alone and unattended.
They hold each other's hands.
They are safe.
Some say that those who live here are poor but I say they are rich.
This land rises higher and closer to Heaven and Heaven is felt here.
Those who come here leave here differently.
Those who live here die here soundly.

1 comment:

  1. Right?!!! Told you it was safe there. Women are highly revered in the ancient cultures. The spirit of Pachamama is respected and goddess energy is respected in The Sacred Valley. As it should be. A'Ho!