Viva el Peru

Flying into Lima

Maca de coca made from coca leaves

My little street—avenue Baja

inside Saint Dominic chapel

Some of the students at the school

Downtown Cusco

Salt baths 

Enroute to Machu Picchu 

Home sweet home.

As good as it is to be back in the USA, I already miss Peru.

I had the trip of a lifetime and I'm still on cloud nine.

Trying to choose which pictures to share was very tough—especially since I took around 1,000 pictures...literally.

The green mountains, scattered clouds and Machu Picchu are all things I will never forget, but most of all I fell in love with the people in Peru.

I worked at a school every morning and the children everyday never failed to make me laugh and smile despite our language barrier. I also went to an orphanage in another town, Oropesa. 

The boys there

transformed

me—they made me realize that happiness is not found in physical things. Even with the little that they had, they were glimmers of joy, hope and happiness because they lived by this verse inscribed on their building, "Hebroes (Hebrews) 12:1"

"Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us"

Those 16 boys and 4 girls—more than half of them about half my age—set and example for me. They amazed me with their spirit and kindness and forever have left an impression on my heart. 

 I want to transform their lives just as they unintentionally did to mine—

Peru is not just another stamp in my passport, or country on the map.

It's rather a place where the people are

still filled with joy even through hardship

, and that is what transformed me.