I'm back in Puno. Back to the familiar sounds of pigs squealing, trash trucks playing music, sheep baaing and Spanish words flowing. I'm also back to the familiar sights of Lake Titicaca, women carrying children on their backs, chickens freshly slaughtered and beer caps on the street.
Coming back was difficult, I'm not going to lie. Not difficult in that I cried and was sad, I really wasn't. But I was leaving vacation to go back to work. Who wants to get back to work after being on vacation? Nobody! I was all over Denver seeing friends and family, enjoying good food, good conversation and good company. From Downtown to Breckenridge, Park Meadows to Thornton, I was all over the place and had a blast.
I left home Friday morning (August 12th) and headed to DIA with my Dad. Denver to Dallas, Dallas to Miami, Miami to Lima, Lima to Juliaca. Phew! I made it to Juliaca, Peru about 4pm on Saturday afternoon. I hopped on a bus with all 130 pounds of luggage and we started the hour trek to Puno....my other home. As the bus drove through Juliaca, I remembered how much I love this place, I remembered how I love seeing the women dressed in traditional clothing and how I missed the kids playing in the street. I saw two little boys rolling a tire down the road, I saw people sitting outside conversing together, I watched men and women selling fruit on the street as we passed by on the bus. Right as I was praying and thanking God for bringing me back to this place and giving me His heart for this place, looking out the window, I caught another sight of Puno, a man facing the bus, relieving himself. Oh Puno! Thanks for the warm welcome home!
But, in all seriousness, I love Puno and I love the people here. I love the relationships Francisca and I have built in Yanamayo and Huascar, I love the family I live with. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. To live and work in a beautiful corner of this world, to be immersed in another language and another culture. It's difficult and frustrating. But I wouldn't change anything. I love Puno.
No matter how much I love Puno, Colorado will always be my real home and it was great to go home for vacation and spend time with friends and family. Sixteen days, one carrot cake, lots of tacos, many hours chatting and tons of hugs. Here are some highlights and photos from my trip home to Colorado. Thanks to EVERYone for making this a special time!
My Little Sissy Got Engaged!
Girls Night Out....Progressive Dinner Style!
Time With Friends and Family!
Heritage Square Alpine Slide with Jessica!
Downtown Denver & TWO Rockies Games! (Thanks to my D!)
Fishing, Hiking and Hanging out in Breck with my D!
(Thanks to Jeff & Shirley for lending us their condo!)