Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Concluding a Successful Journey

The group had a fantastic time in Machu Picchu; everyone felt privileged to be guided through such an iconic site with a National Geographic Expert! Photography student Haley Burton commented: "Sitting on a terrace at Machu Picchu looking at the light of the sunrise over the beautiful wonder of the world, I was surprised to find that my worries disappeared. Not only the beauty of the site but the way that Peter Frost explained the history of it fascinated me. I will never forget this amazing experience."

Archaeology and Ancient Culture student Ariana Jimenez said "Looking at the site for the first time and breathing the fresh, thin air felt like I was in a dream. Machu Picchu is an amazing place that I will never forget. A simple postcard can´t really explain it!"

Caroline Ruhland summed up the group's experience well, saying "Being at Machu Picchu was one of the most awe-inspiring and majestic experiences of my life; it was truly unique to be able to look at what is and imagine what was."

After returning from the ruins the rest of our time in Peru passed quickly. We spent Saturday, our last full day in Cusco, finishing our On Assignment projects and preparing for the evening's presentations. Each Photography student picked up to 20 of their favorite images to share with the group, while the Archaeology and Ancient Culture students each contributed a chapter to a self-published book entitled "Inca Explorations." Expedition Leaders Lindsay and Michael and National Geographic Expert Peter Frost were extraordinarily proud of the group's accomplishments and impressed by the quality of every student's finished product. After concluding our presentations we celebrated the success of our journey with an upbeat night of dinner and salsa lessons and dancing.

The group returned to Lima On Sunday and finished up with a lovely oceanside dinner. Over chicha and ceviche we talked about highlights of the trip: learning about Photography, Archaeology and culture; seeing the beauty of Peru and learning more about the country`s complex and fascinating history and future; and perhaps most importantly, learning that sometimes life`s most rewarding experiences occur outside of our comfort zones. We are all excited to return home with new experiences, new perspectives, and new friends.

-Lindsay and Michael