Dispatch from a world away:

This is the second long-distance dispatch from Kristina Collins, who along with Ariel Delaney is studying this semester in Lima, Peru.

For all of its glory, Peru was conquered many times from outside and within. There were the Wari, the Incas and the Spanish.

And then came the dictatorships, revolutionaries and corruption. I’m not going to get into that, but this country has quite the history.

Basically, Peru gained its independence from Spain in 1821, ended slavery by the end of the 19th century, experienced a European immigration invasion and then a century of political and military uprisings.

So just about every village has an influence from one of these periods in history. We finally got to experience that on a hike. Well, I guess it was considered a trek through a handful of tiny agricultural villages all built on the side of a mountain.

The only way in or out is a narrow, steep Incan path.

If you’re lucky, a cactus might break your fall. The donkeys, goats and horses don’t go very high, but there were a few dogs and chickens when we reached the fog line.

So after 10 miles of not looking down, we finally made it to the top of the Masaak ruins.

OK, so ruins don’t look glorious after centuries of erosion, but it was definitely a sight to see. It was also quite refreshing to breathe clean air outside of the city.

Lima truly is an incredible place. From beaches to mountains, indigenous customs to European influence, there is always something to celebrate.

The last Wednesday in August was Saint Rose Day where all schools close to recognize the patron saint of Lima, whose monastery and church still exist in Central Lima.

Unfortunately all of these holidays fall on a Wednesday, and few give you the day off.

October break would be great right now, but that’s only because midterms are in a week.

Happy studying! Ciao!

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