You see, I was supposed to be jetting to Peru today (and by jetting, I mean crammed into the cheapest economy seat).
A few months ago, when we were daydreaming, I posted a picture of some ruins in the Andes Mountains surrounding Ollantaytambo. I WAS GOING TO CLIMB TO THOSE RUINS and spend a day with local women, learning how to weave and do a hundred other super cool things.
But it's not just the heartbreak of a cancelled trip that has me so down. I'm concerned for all the wonderful people I'd hoped to meet and spend my soles with: the independent hostel owners and staff, the restaurateurs, the street vendors, the craftswomen, the waiters, the cab drivers, the colectivo drivers, the boot polishers, the tour guides.
In an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19, the Peruvian government acted swiftly and aggressively to shut down the country's borders and put its people on lockdown—now one of the longest lockdowns in the world, even longer than in Italy, Spain, and China. The hardships we feel during shutdown in developed nations is nothing compared to the toll it takes on people in countries lacking our infrastructure and resources. I'm not saying aggressive measures aren't necessary to combat the aggressive virus. I'm simply saying, this sucks.
And hey, in the spirit of 2020, how about some sudden death for my darling pet rabbit. Sure, why not?
|Frolic in peace, sweet angel Gamgee girl.|
Until then, I'll visit the gorgeous Andean Condor I adopted at Brookfield Zoo (once it freaking reopens), enjoy a purse woven by amazing Awamaki craftswomen near Ollantaytambo, donate to hard-hit organizations in Peru that are close to my heart, drink Inca Kola, and attempt to make a traditional Peruvian dish. And I will pray, pray, pray that when I return to that beautiful country, I'll find its beautiful people thriving.
Ohhhh golly, this didn't have much to do with writing, did it? Wait a minute—yes, it totally did. Writing this post helped me work out some of my angst and redirect it toward better places. It's a classic example of writing as therapy. Thanks for reading. :)