Monday, July 21, 2008

Walk, Walk

I desperately have been wanting to walk out in the countryside - go for a day hike up one of the gorgeous mountains surrounding Cajamarca. This past month I begged my friends. No one would go, or they stayed out too late at the disco to get up early, or I canceled because I was sick.
Finally yesterday my walking wish came true. Hugo and I walked up to a laguna about 2 hours straight up from Cajamarca. There were no towns, no traffic, no music. Just some donkeys, wood gatherers, birds and scattered adobe houses spread throughout the countryside. It was lovely to be near an aparently clean lake, especially with my as of late wave of homesick for midwest summer activities. We rested under the bright sun with the peace that only a countryside hike brings.
We returned to Cajamarca with tired legs and happy hearts. I entered work today with the confidence and peace of mastering an enormous mountain only yesterday. Part of my work day consisted of going out with one of our loan recipients this afternoon to visit women interested in our rural health sessions - recruiting the troops for a better turnout this coming Saturday. I walked around with Juana in the countryside to visit women, interview them about their families, kids, and favorite health topics. We stayed close by her house and actually didn't walk that much; which my legs were grateful. We started to finish up at 6:30, because the last public transport minivan/combi leaves at 7pm. I played the waiting, waiting, waiting for the combi game. Juana, her friend and I watched the sunset while we waited and I finally realized that the combi might not come.

Let's start walking...

Juana's friend and I began our countryside hike back to Banos de Inca, a town which most definitely has combi's at night. My legs began to ask me, Why? I had no good answer, except that we couldn't stay out in the countryside waiting for a minivan that might never stop by. After a nice conversation about loans, loan sharks and families with my new friend - and 40 minutes later - we arrived in Banos de Inca, just in time to catch the combi arriving from the countryside from our departing spot.

Walking when you want it is thrilling, filling, and peaceful. Walking for necessity doesn't hold the same emotions. Walking to get to the breathtaking view that awaits ontop of the mountain inspires awe. Walking in order to get back to house is tiring, long, and sometimes painful. I got to experience both within 24 hours. Who knows what walk awaits me tomorrow.

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