I have come to drag you out of yourself and take you in my heart.
I have come to bring out the beauty you never knew you had,
And lift you like a prayer to the sky.
It all happened very quickly. Leaving that is. The staff that had come back with us to Cusco had dispersed: some headed to new jobs, others to visit family, so it was just Sarah and I saying our goodbyes. We made plans to see each other again and promised to keep in touch. I packed my things into the taxi and left Sarah behind with El Hotel el Rosal hovering in the background. The taxi driver wanted to hear all about our adventures, and when I spoke to him, Spanish didn’t feel so foreign on my tongue anymore. I didn’t have to translate in my head, and I talked the Peruvian way: softly and quickly. “Will you come back?” he asked. “I hope so,” I said sincerely.
On the flight home I expected to be absorbed in thoughts of bittersweet goodbyes, but more than anything, I was surprised. Surprised at what this trip had become. I expected to find answers, but I now had more questions than ever. I expected to give but ended up receiving so much more than I dealt out. For more than a month I lived outside of myself, and it was such a relief. I felt so light. Literally. (I had lost 16 pounds thanks to those parasites.) All joking aside, my friends at the MLC had drawn me out, and we became a part of something bigger than ourselves.
There were no walls separating us. We lived together, worked together, ate together, and laughed together. There was little need for privacy because there was respect and value in that place. Love without possession. And I’ll treasure that for always.