One of the students going on the Peru trip in March, just told me he started a trip countdown on his Facebook page.Â The 5 students who are going on this trip have not expressed their anticipation openly, but putting it on FB is an indicator that they are very excited about the upcoming trip.
One of the students going on the Peru trip in March, just told me he started a trip countdown on his Facebook page. The 5 students who are going on this trip have not expressed their anticipation openly, but putting it on FB is an indicator that they are very excited about the upcoming trip.
The first step in preparing students is to prepare parents! It's important that I be transparent about the different conditions we'll be exposed to. Not only will we be camping, but the hotels are different than the chains we're used to in the US. As a means of promoting sustainable travel practices, we will stay in local, family-run hotels. None of which are part of a chain. Each exhibits unique characteristics reflecting the culture of the regions we are visiting. The interesting thing is that these hotels tend to be cleaner and better run than large chains because families/owners know their livelihood depends on satisfied customers. If we need anything during our stay, it's possible that the owner will provide it personally!
Only passports are needed for Americans and no vaccinations are required, although I recommend that everyone visit their physician to update their routine shots.
Packing is important and often ignored by students. Part of our service project involves collecting gently-used backpacks to take down and distribute to children in the mountains who walk long distances to school. Most international flights allow 2 checked bags, so each student will carry one checked bag full of backpacks.
Since I am co-owner of the company that is arranging our logistics, I have an advantage in making decisions about our itinerary. There is nothing ordinary about where we are going and what we are doing. I don't expect the students to understand that now, but one day it will hit them. This is not an ordinary travel experience.
Of course we'll visit Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, but it is the service project that will have the most impact. Accompanied by a local wildfoods expert from Virginia, we will learn how to identify, gather and prepare indigenous foods in a Qechua village. After cooking the foods using traditional methods, we'll share the meal with the local villagers.
I'm as excited about this trip as the students.
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