We left Cuzco floated on a river of tearful goodbyes. As many from our friend as from the campesino mamachas, and caseras at our local Mercado. The locals (not the new generation of mestizos) don´t handle our easy going, transitive lifestyle as casually as we assume. The idea of “leaving” is harsh and sudden, and cries of dangers away from home and family. Home and family are their dearest possessions. And, so, tears flow, even from Berta and her sisters, with whom we dedicatedly bought all our market goods (thus the reference “casera”). And an especially difficult and surprising farewell from Señora Isidora´s Mama, who couldn´t recognize us from every other passing gringo until just a month ago. But, finally, greeted us cheerfully everyday with “Hola Mami” and “Wee-nas dias Papi”. As we parted on our last day, she posed for a beautiful picture before realizing what the day meant, and begged us to be safe, willed our return, implored us from behind dark, watery eyes. She clasped our hands and kissed us each directly on the lips.
The beauty of these people is unmistakeably Cuzquenian Quechua, and immediately transformed as we traveled to the coast of Lima, and continued North to Piura. It´s a genuine culture of the Andees. It is Quechua. It is now home to our hearts.