And it is not quite over!
When we were in Cusco, we met a great yoga teacher, David, from Columbia. He mentioned he was in the process of putting together a SUP Yoga – ( that’s “Stand Up Paddleboard” – I have now learned) retreat on a lake near Chinchero, a town we had previously visited on our way to the Sacred Valley. So we arranged to visit it on our way back to Cusco from the Sacred Valley.
Well, we discovered that David and his business partner, Alvaro, are working to create something much more than SUP Yoga for foreigners looking for something to do. They are working with boys and girls from the area around Chinchero to teach them swimming, paddleboarding and yoga. This is a poor farming community. The discipline and opportunity this can provide is inspiring. So much so that a TV Film crew from Lima was there to get the story of what is right now a very much grassroots endeavor.
To top it off the other visitor, Titus, from Holland had an interesting story to tell. He and his then wife ended up in Cusco in the mid ’90s and took in 12 boys off the streets. With the help of funding from donors and foundations mainly from Holland, there is now a series of hotels in Cusco, “Los Ninos”, profits from which go to support the daily education, meals and hygiene for over 500 poor Cusco children – many homeless or with unstable home situations. Titus now splits his time between Holland and Cusco. He is a painter as well as a consultant helping people define and achieve their dreams.
For me it was a perfect day: some great physical activity, beautiful setting, inspiring stories and fun, interesting people.
This evening we met our group for our hike. There are 12 of us – 2 sisters in their late 20s/early 30s with their mom from Ireland, a couple from Utah maybe early 50s, a couple from England latish 60s and a family from Russia with 2 young teenage children. We set off tomorrow at 7:00!