In between our junior and senior year in college, we decided to spend six weeks traveling throughout South America. Eric spent most of the summer working 70 hour weeks with 3 jobs in Michigan, while Kristin did the same in Illinois, saving up as much as possible before the trip. Our first stop was Peru. We flew from Lima to Cusco, where we spent several days acclimating ourselves to the high altitude in anticipation of our 5-day trek to the most anticipated stop on our trip, Machu Picchu.
The day before our trek begun, we boarded a bus that took us around the surrounding areas of Cusco, including some small sites of the Incan’s ancient community, and a market, where Kristin held her first baby llama. On our way back, our bus stopped at a small rest stop in the middle of the Andes Mountains. As we lied down on the grass and waited outside for everyone to board back onto the bus, two Peruvian children ran up to us, eager to play. They looked like siblings and were covered with dirt from head to toe. The boy immediately tackled Eric, and the girl threw her arms at Kristin, gesturing her to swing her around. All four of us then started to play tag, the little boy still constantly trying to tackle Eric.
Neither of us can really say how long this went on. All we remember is having ten, maybe 20, minutes with these
children, who were so excited to find two people that wanted to play with them. We couldn’t speak each other’s language, but we understood each other. The corners of the world which we came from could not be more different, yet we found it amazing how all of us are so very similar. Both of us feel very lucky to have each other to appreciate small moments such as this.