AllisonM's Travel Journals


  • 27 years old
  • From Texas, United States
  • Currently in Vermont, United States


January 2011 in the incredible high Amazon..

El Fin

Peru Tarapoto, Peru  |  Jan 23, 2011
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 Spending these weeks in Peru taught me so much about community, about lifestyles, about my own country, and about myself in so many ways 

Back in Vermont .. today it's 0 degrees F, but "feels like -17" and it's supposed to be -20 tonight. There's a foot and a half of snow on the ground ... so it's kind of a shock to be back in this all of a sudden, coming from 95 degrees, sunshine, and growing, living, green everything. It's a shock that the trip is over. The experience, for me, is not. Spending these weeks in Peru taught me so much about community, about lifestyles, about my own country, and about myself in so many ways. I discovered so much about opportunity and possibility and about how much more is out there than we see any given day in our norm. The last week was a pretty relaxed time. We all went to work on our final projects. I worked with Becky to create a book of herbal remedies, so to speak -- we spoke with Ida, the director of Dining Services at Sachamama, an incredible woman who has more knowledge than I would know what to do with. For every ailment we asked her about, she immediately knew which plants to use to treat it and how to prepare the mixture. We created what we're calling a "librocito" of recipes for common ailments, such as headache, sore throat, and stomach aches. It was interesting to see how they don't separate things just by ailments, though, but more by region of the body. For the stomach, you take this, for the head, you take this, rather than separating by symptom. It was a really fun project; personally I have always looked for a way to avoid synthetic medicines to cure ailments and have grown a few different herbs for personal use, but to see the wealth of knowledge in Peru and know that it's commonplace, especially for women, was amazing. It's just so little-known in the US; we're used to the instant gratification of a pill about which we have no idea about the contents. Before the final projects, as well, we participated in our second shamanic ritual, which was an incredible experience for everyone. Following the ritual, we had a purifying flower bath and the next was spent in a silent fast. It was an important time for processing and reflection for me, and when we re-convened to discuss our experiences after breaking the fast, it seemed that it had been an important and moving two days for the whole group. 

To be back home in my old norms is interesting because I'm viewing things a little differently now. I am beyond grateful for the experience that I was given, and I've absolutely taken life lessons from it. The country is an incredible place; the people are the most generous I've experienced. Our group vibe was wonderful, and Frederique is one of the most inspiring I have ever encountered, and I feel blessed to have been able to get to know her even for only a short time. So for now ... I'm ready to see where my new knowledge takes me, and I'm certain that I'll be going back to Peru. 

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  • El Principio

    December 30, 2010
    No Photo | No Video

  • El Segundo

    January 12, 2011
    No Photo | No Video

  • El Fin

    January 23, 2011
    No Photo | No Video