Archive for October, 2008

Arrived at Winapaq

October 10, 2008

Friday, Oct. 10, 2008

Friends, we have arrived at the ecological village, Winaypag (see at, and are adjusting to the altitude, about 9,000 feet, and cooler weather. We’re also likely decompressing from city life and the long trip to Taray (Tampa to Lima to Cusco and, a day later, to Taray). We’re getting plenty of rest and happily settling into the slower, rural pace.

We’e renting a two-bedroom abode, straw-roofed house in Taray at an ecological village on the edge of the small town. Here’s a view as you approach the eco-village from a short dirt road and a view of the house through the  eucalyptus trees.


The trees are non-native from Australia and are used in the valleys for framing the abode structures. Our home has running water, a flush toilet, a hot shower, and a two-burner gas stove. Here are photos of the kitchen

and our bedroom

with the skylight above the bed that allows us to star gaze. The bedroom also holds ourmeditation space.

Large windows make up the north side of the living room

and offer a garden and mountain view. Not bad, huh?

We’re without refrigeration and heat-a/c. It is early spring. The weather has been a bit rainy and mornings and nights are fairly chilly. Though we lack some modern conveniences, we’ve had a soft landing in Peru.

At outdoor markets we buy fresh bread, fruits and vegetables, grains, and dried legumes.

Here’s a photo of the large market at Calca,

about a half hour’s bus ride away. And this photo shows some of the typical veggies that madeup a vegetarian meal we had in Cusco.

Corn, quinoa and various kinds of potatoes are main staples. Coca tea helps the body adjust to the elevation, and bags of fresh coca leaves are sold at the market.

In addition to taking time to physically adjust to the new environment, we’ve had time to read (John on Africa and Jordan on youth development), meditate, cook, study Spanish and ¬– in general – chill. We feel we’re in the right place.

We also wanted to mention that in mid-September we were medically cleared for work in the Peace Corps. We began the PC application process in January. Having completed the medical phase feels like clearing the final hurdle in this lengthy process. We are slated to go to Africa in April 2009, where John will support local NGOs while Jordan will work in youth development. In the meantime, we take one day at a time, knowing that nothing is etched in stone and remembering the importance of flexibility.

Know that we pray for the ell-being of friends, family and all beings in our daily meditations.

Here are some short videos from some of our other trips:

Brazil in 2008 with John of God.

Colonial Mexico in 2007.

Santa Fe, NM in 2006.

Costa Rica in 2006.

Backpacking in Alaska in 2003.