Sunday, April 18 Early this morning I traveled from Yucay to Qotohuicho in the Sacred Valley, to meet Pelayo, an old friend whose character I respect, and also as a ceramic artisan and karate instructor. The agenda had been pre-set Friday eve. We were going to design a plan for ceramic workshops for the children of the Safe Haven.
While I was waiting outside in the yard for him, I looked around at my surroundings: a couple of adobe structures, dirt floors, bee hives full of activity, a laundry line full of clothes drying with the radiant and powerful sun. As I pulled out my laptop, I realized what finally brought me to this particular place. I had the assurance that what will transpire today has the potential to change many lives. At that very moment I felt connected to the hand that wrote all, in silent prayer without words or pleas.
Within a couple of hours we had laid out an ambitious but simple plan, which will start before my departure on May 12. The plan, not only will explore the children’s artistic abilities, but will provide them with life skills they could tap into in the future.
Pelayo is raising his three children alone. His needs seem beyond my comprehension. Giving him just money would be an insult to his character, but offering him an opportunity to work together in a larger purpose, will give him life.
As I was leaving this humble but nurturing environment, I looked at the distant mountain, the Nevado Chicón. It reminded me of the encounter in the spring of 2003 when I became lost during a hiking adventure that changed me forever and turned a visiting observer into a man on a mission to bring positive change into lives of people in the sacred valley.