CLawrence's Travel Journals

CLawrence Caitlin Lawrence

 
What is the one place every traveler should visit?

Cusco.

  • 29 years old
  • From New York, United States
  • Currently in Urubamba, Peru

One who needs help

Interacting with those who need it most

A boy tucked tightly in my heart, for years to come.

Peru Urubamba, Peru  |  Jul 03, 2011
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 A smile of an angel sent down from up above. 

Hola,It is about 8:30 here in Peru, and I had a really great day. My roomate and I went to Cusco for the day to do some shopping and we had a great time. It was nice to get out of Urubamba for a few hours for a change of pace and secenary. We went to Jacks Cafe ( a tourista cafe) which is one of my favorite places to go for food in Cusco- it is nice to be able to read a menu in english and actually know what you are ordering. I had the most amazing BLT of my life, along with a tall vanilla milkshake- oh how i miss sweets. We went to the black market after and did some light shopping- which is always a cure to worries. I feel like I have never said the words "¿Cuantos Cuesta?" (How much) so many times in my life. We marveled at the architecture, and enjoyed the live band playing in the main Plaza de Armas. Feeling the altitude we decided to pack the day in and scavenged to find a car to ride back to Urubamba. We went to our homestays family ice cream shop for dinner, and here I am.On a more serious note- I wanted to share a short story about something that has been on my mind for the past few hours- Yesterday evening I met one of my Peruvian friends "Cousin" his name was Gabriel- he was 7 years old- small with round cheeks- small tender hands, shy and quiet. As we sat in a bakery munching on some Coffe and cake, my friend proceeded to tell me a little more information about who Gabe really was. Gabe was a small boy at the age of four who was seen carrying loads of water and food along the inca trail- with his parents. Following in the steps of tourists who would most likely need supplies that were forgotten in there packing for usually a several day adventure- that will lead you to the terraces of Machu Picchu. The small boys parents had little to no money- and were as we know in America as Alchoholics. From the lack of shelter,food, and possibly being responsible for there kin- by the tender age of 4 Gabe was already addicted to alcohol. My guess is most likely Chicha the local drink. Cheap and available everywhere. Seeing how frail, tired, and mistreated he was, my friend chose to ask his parents if it would be okay if Gabe came to live a different life in Urubamba with him. Accepting this gesture which is unusal Gabe came to live here. His parents being from the countryside of Chicon, his first language was Quechua. Over time my friend taught him how to speak the local dialect of spanish. However, if anyone wants to attain more opportunities in Peru for work, one of the solutions is to learn English. As it is the same in the states for immigrants. Being that my spanish is now pretty good- I was asked if I thought I could possibly teach Gabe English. Flattered, a little nervous, and thinking is that really possible for me to do so? I sat on the sofa side by side with the little boy starting with the basics. "Mano"- Hand, "labios" -Lips, and pretty soon we were on a roll. As gabe asked me questions about my life that I live in America, and I attempted to ask questions about his life- without tapping into bad memories. Memories that most likely are trying to be forgotten. I noticed his posture became more visible. His folded hands seem to ease up as he drank his tea. When he spoke to me he no longer dipped his face down to avoid eye contact. As We finished paying the bill- I suggested to the boy that perhaps he could come to work with me a few days a week- if my organization found it to be permissable. Being that I work i the countryside with farmers whose first language is Quechua- and I have been struggling for quite some time now just forming basic sentences- that perhaps he could learn a new trate- a new kind of labor- and we could teach each other how to speak- most likely using three different languages. I thought this question might have been a little abbrupt or perhaps too soon- we had only known each other for a meer hour, however I asked anyway. He looked up at my face, and a grin turned into a smile. A smile of an angel sent down from up above. He  opened his mouth and said "Hand" I shook my head, and he took my hand gentley and said "Claro me encanta" (Sure, I would love to) My heart melted. Not from affection but from realizing he just used an english word, and his eyes had the feeling of comfort and trust deep within. After paying the bill we skipped hand in hand, jumping over the puddles on the cobblestone street that sat motionless from the rain that fell from earlier in the day. I felt his eyes continuing to drift up towards my face- studying the differences between our features. I felt more then content. For the moment, the boy with a tragic past, and still a life of struggle to this day, was acting like a normal child. Happy and care free, the way children are supposed to be. For me- this was the best part of my day. It may even be much more then a happy moment for me, and for Gabe, who will always no matter where I am 6,000, 1,000,000 miles away will be tucked tightly in my heart. For the rest of my life. He will always be a true survior and a boy of courage, and strength. He should be inspiration to every person on this "Mama Pacha" (Mother earth)

Children are our future, and we must care for them no matter any sort of condition. Change the world one person at a time. You won´t regret that you did so.

"But I'm on the outsideAnd I'm looking inI can see through youSee your true colors

See to the real you"

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  • User Profile Photo
    Mom wrote: Mon Jul 4, 2011
    shared this with some people at Uncle Eds today.
    They loved it, especially Alice. She said, "I didn't know I'd need a box of kleenex when I came here today! I love it too!
  • A boy tucked tightly in my heart, for years to come.

    July 03, 2011
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  • A long day

    July 05, 2011
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