Qosqo before Christmas

We arose extra early this morning -- at 3:30 AM for Trini and I to shower and get ready -- to leave our hotel in the Village of Machupicchu. Trini, unfortunately, had twisted her ankle while climbing one of the steep steps in the Machu Picchu citadel the day before. She was in pain coming all the way back. Dona, an indigenous woman from the Amazon forest area of Peru, did amazing work on her foot, pushing the bones back into shape, using coca leaves, lots of prayers, and then a strong band. By morning there was no swelling. Trini was able to walk around, shower, and be back to her old self. We then took a train to Ollantaytambo, and a long van ride to Qosqo. But Trini was strong enough to walk with us as we visited various sections of town, including an incredible center of indigenous artisan craftwork.

I know if she had gone to a US doctor, the ankle would be swollen and Trini would have been on antibodies and painkillers, and perhaps laid up for a day or two. The natural healing knowledge of these lands is real and powerful, as I´ve been a witness to see.

Even the one participant in our group who got altitude sickness is doing well with hot soups and mate de coca (coca leave tea). I´ve even got over most of my cold and other ailments in just a few days of medicine, talks, ceremonies, travel, and companionship. We haven´t even begun our real internal healing work yet, but I trust it will be a significantly meaningful and transformative experience.

When we returned to Qosqo, we were surprised to see a crowd of indigenous women and children linked up for a block from our hostel. They were doing a Christmas giveaway today to the local poor children. It was sweet to see the smiles of the brown native faces of these babies as they walked away with a toy. I must have looked the same way, as a small brown child in Watts, getting presents and food from the local Catholic charity group.

Tomorrow, we visit more sacred sites, commence with more ceremonies, and get to know our own strengths and limitations as we continue on our spiritual quest here among the amazing Quechan people of the Andes.

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