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How Peru Changed Me

By Maia Schnoebelen ’23
LJCDS Middle Schoolers and faculty participated in a 10-day trip to Peru in March 2018 run by World Leadership School. Maia Schnoebelen ’23 shares her experience below.
My experiences in Ollantaytambo have definitely changed me. I personally believe that these changes were for the better. One cannot know the effect of their decisions and changes until they look back upon their experiences to see how it changed them and those around them. One day, I believe that I will look back on this wonderful trip and clearly see how it changed me as well as how I view my own life along with the rest of the world. My time in Ollanta has given me a brand new and much more clear perspective on life in what feels like a completely different world.

For starters, I used to view the entire world as being like the United States: perfectly designed houses with a white picket fence, picturesque lawns and a spotless car in the driveway. But boy, was I wrong. Seeing life in other countries may seem strange, new, and exciting from the outside looking in, but to these people, it’s just…. life. This trip allowed me to see that, and to get to know that way of life in a way I wouldn’t have on a different trip. My experience in Ollantaytambo gave me somewhat of a new sense of normal.

During my stay in Peru, I met many amazing people including my host family, who let me into their home, and made me and my classmates delicious meals. These wonderful people never treated me as a stranger in their home, but as a family member who just hadn’t been home in a while. There were also incredible women that I worked with during my time with the Awamaki women’s co-op, including a small shop owner with a huge personality and heart, as well as a family from Venezuela who make the best arepas I have ever had. If I had the opportunity to go on a similar trip to this one, I would do it in a heartbeat and never think twice. I am so glad that I did this trip and think everyone should do a trip like it.
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