(In Peru Adventures - Part 1, Indira left off talking about what she and her Global Leadership Adventures group did in the afternoons during their stay in Cusco, Peru, after spending mornings helping to build a greenhouse for local schoolchildren.)
The visit to the shaman was also a one of a kind experience. We paid PEN 5 (two Peruvian Nuevo Soles
, which is approximately equivalent to nearly USD 2) for the Shaman, and although the response he gave to each person varied a bit, I was quite disappointed with my visit. So I sat down and paid the Shaman for his services, and he started doing stuff with the leaves in front of him, and then he started telling me stuff along the lines of “You are a very kind and hard working person,” blablabla. And of course, the Shaman didn’t speak English, so I had to have my mentor translate for me. After that, I got a chance to pose a couple of questions. The first question I asked him was, “What is my ideal career?” I was expecting something specific; something along the lines of “Senior software engineer for Google, specializing in development of the Chromebook” or “General manager of marketing at Microsoft Indonesia” or something like that, but the Shaman merely said, “You’re already thinking about it, and what you’re thinking about is ideal.” Geez thanks a lot. That really
helped. I also asked him, “What is my greatest weakness?” and he answered, “You don’t take enough risks.” I think I would’ve been contented with that answer had he not given the same answer to every other one of my friends. Nevertheless, I was glad I paid the Shaman a visit. I mean, not a lot of people get to say that the Shaman predicted their future! The most exciting part of the trip was definitely Machu Picchu
along with the hike along the Inca trail
. We left the homebase on Friday, and drove over to one of the checkpoints along the famous Inca trail. We arrived there at around noon, and we had lunch first before starting the hike. We hiked for three days; the first day was a three-hour hike upwards, the second day was a three-hour hike upward and a two-hour hike downwards, and the third day was a three-hour hike downwards. I am quite ashamed to say that in my seventeen years of existence, I have never gone hiking before. Of course the hike we did wasn’t hardcore hiking; we had porters to carry our heavy backpacking bags for us so we only had to carry our daypacks. But nevertheless, I found hiking to be quite hard, especially the upwards part. During the parts where we went upwards, I was one of the students to arrive at the checkpoints last. But still, I’m proud to say that I went on a three-day hike along the Machu Picchu!
The third day, we arrived at one of the checkpoints and got on a two-hour car ride before taking a one-hour train ride to our hotel. When we reached the hotel, it was already around 6pm, and the next day, we left the hotel early in the morning to go to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu definitely took my breath away. It was astounding
. I just can’t believe how the Incas
could have built all of that without the use of heavy machinery. All in all, I had an amazing experience in Peru. I saw wonderful stone structures, learnt a lot of the Peruvian culture, and I also met wonderful friends and mentors along the way. Also, I would definitely encourage everyone else to take the chance and get involved in similar activities. Not only did I get to learn a lot, but I also got to have fun. Post by Indira Pranabudi, an international student alumna of Green River Community College.