Saturday, May 5, 2012

Echo Reunion in Cusco

I had a fantastic week and it included meeting Ellen and Sarah. Ellen, who was a trip guide for Camp Echo in the 90s so graciously offered to bring me two bags of up to 70 pounds each on her frequent flyer miles with American Airlines in exchange for helping her out with what to pack and things about Cusco. I couldn't have been more grateful and happy to help if I had gotten bags or not. We were put in contact by Meredith who knew I was here and knew that Ellen and Sarah were coming to Cusco. Sarah also worked at Echo in the 90s and it turns out that our mothers work for the same real estate company in Evanston. Small world!

My mom sent me about 90 pounds worth of stuff in total including my entire Harry Potter hardbound collection. I now have a lot of books and more music and clothes. I am pretty sure all I have left to go through when I get home is summer clothes and a few knick knacks here and there before my life is completely transitioned to Peru. It was fun getting things like pumpkin pie mix and girl scout cookies too! I have shared the thin mints with other US friends here in Peru and all of them are so excited to have them. :)

So Ellen and I had a great time getting to know each other when she got here last Friday. We went out to dinner with her and Sarah on Saturday night with the entire group that was going on the Inca Trail trip. I accompanied them on their debrief meeting with their guides. It was the second one I have been to with a friend. The other was with Blake and her boyfriend in January (which I don't think I ever wrote about). I realized that I didn't need to put in my two cents, however, hard it was. I know how annoying it can be for someone who is trying to give an informative chat and there is someone right next to you giving comments about everything. I gave the group my experience and a few suggestions and let them take it how they wanted. Ellen later told me that I was brought up quite a few times especially on the train. I told them how I slept the whole way home and that they might be doing the same especially if they were going to do Huayna Picchu as well. They were feeling good because they had a fashion show and dance in their train and there was no way they were sleeping. Haha! I am glad they all had a good time.

I went to dinner with the group after they got back from the trail and enjoyed hearing stories and looking at pictures. I am so glad that Ellen and Sarah had a great time. I hope they have an awesome time in the jungle for the rest of their trip as well. I would've gone out dancing with them afterward but I was pooped and had lots of things to take back that I let them borrow for the trip.

It was super fun talking camp with Sarah and Ellen. They stopped going before I even started going to camp but we definitely have quite a few mutual camp friends. It was great hearing her stories about trips and I filled her in on craziness that happened during my time as a guide. She often referred to GTB when things would happen with the entire group. Anyone who has ever lead that trip would totally understand what it's like to try and herd a group of people who don't have a lot of experience in the outdoors. :) Nothing like having people around who have common experiences. It's something that I treasure here in Peru and I am sure I will only continue to treasure more as the years go on.

There will be a few pictures put up as soon as Ellen sends me them. I somehow managed to never have a camera on me when we were together. Oh well!! The pic will also be going to the Camp Echo Newsletter. :) Echo reunions around the world!

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