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Editor’s Note: Ambassador Coordinator, Vicki Coulson Vance, shared this glowing report from this Global Journey in September and October, where 19 ambassadors from Canada, Australia, and the U.S. were hosted by FF Nor Peru, exploring this beautiful country and culture.
This Journey was one of the best that I have participated in during my eighteen years of leading global exchanges.
I found the people of the Nor Peru club to be warm, generous, friendly, outgoing and eager to share the best of their culture with us.
Jaime Carrill, Host Coordinator and Club President, planned a full program of activities, so our days and evenings were packed with very little down time. The club was determined to show us everything we would have seen at their Festival of Spring. Our homestay dates were planned with the festival in mind, but the organizers changed the date well after our plans were finalized. We had numerous group meals and with each one we had musicians and dancers, along with wonderful food. We rode in tuk tuks (moto-taxis) to the local huacas, met some officials of Moche city where we visited their market, museum, and murals, plus had a blast at karaoke and cocktails night. We went to beach towns to see the reed canoes, walk along the beaches, eat delicious ceviche, and shop the local handicraft markets.
The Nor Peru club organized an excellent homestay for us, even though they were departing on their own outbound Journey five days after our departure. Each female ambassador received a woven Peruvian purse upon arrival, while everyone was given small gifts of pisco liqueur at the farewell party.
Our tour of the Southern Andes was very well-organized and gave us a deeper insight into the Inca culture and those people before the Incas. Of course, our highlight was Machu Picchu, which was a dream come true for many of us.
The altitude was certainly challenging for all, except the California couple who live in the mountains. Everyone except those two were taking the altitude sickness medication, but a few people really felt the effects and had difficulty at many sites. This was the most physically challenging of all the Journeys that I have led, since we were at altitudes of 16,000+ with steps and more steps at every turn.
I highly commend the Nor Peru club for giving us a wonderful homestay and appreciate all of Martha’s work in organizing a superb tour of the Andes. This was an unforgettable experience!
– Ambassador Coordinator, Vicki Coulson Vance