The air here is so thin and the pressure is palpable. Resting at an elevation of over 1 100 feet, Cusco has an atmosphere sparse in oxygen and dense in pollution. This alone might make a person uneasy.  So, naturally, we acclimatize, and I wonder if there is anything we cannot grow used to. How many of us are gasping from moment to moment, seeking some refuge, complacent in our realities? Even if aware of a better way of being, we are not always nourished along the journey.

I have long since wished to change the things around me, as if I knew better. The life of a dreamer, where everything would be more ideal if only…the list goes on. I know now that there is a working to which all has great role. I get to be a piece of this beautiful and complex puzzle of life and this is what I control; Myself alone, what to take in and what to let go of. Just as one deep and conscious breath, over and over.

Many times today I must have held my breath, seeing and feeling so much, as we delivered essentials to schools and orphanages around the city. Faces have been burned into my being. Some grateful, with hope, many detached and broken. I hardly know how to express the way I was moved by one teenage boy in the instant I saw him. I know him from some place. I know we could be friends and make each other laugh. He could advise me in reality and I could soften the edges his world has so obviously sharpened. I would feel his pain and attempt to ease it as he would encourage me not to be so soft. Maybe we would talk about the world, why things are this way and how we are inspired to move forward. I definitely know we would laugh and it would be nice. Instead, there were these five minutes and that will have to be enough. Verbal communications limited, I tried skipping with a long ribbon one of the younger boys offered me. My friend laughed as I fumbled in my best effort. A small but sincere expression, with a really warm smile. I do not think this happens often in his day. I had to go too soon. A quick goodbye and his friend offered me the cool kid handshake, so we did it too. Also, there will be a group picture that exists some place in which we stand side by side.

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