J. Dalton Boyer ’14 – Aug. 3 – For not being in a foreign country before, the last four days at Lima have been some of the most enriching days of my life. My days in Lima have been spent providing free medical care to the people of Pamplona Alta, buying authentic Peruvian gifts at the Incan Market, experiencing new foods such as the lime flavored dolphin fish called ceviche, and running along the Pacific Ocean at the crack of dawn. However, today marked the end of our visit to Lima and the beginning of our journey to the mountainous city of Huánuco. The plane ride and the city itself have proven to be the start of another promising chapter during my two weeks in Peru.
We took off today at Lima’s international airport today at 1:30 pm. Since the plane was mostly empty, everyone was given the opportunity to have a window seat for the flight to Huánuco which proved to be a blessing to the entire group. I understood that Huánuco was at high altitude, about 6100 ft, so I was looking forward to seeing the Andes Mountains. Since Lima never saw the light of day during our visit, it was impossible to see the city during takeoff. Once the plane broke through the cloud cover, there was nothing but a blanket of clouds as far as the eye could see. However, a couple minutes into the flight, the mountains started to appear. Now, I remember looking out at the Indiana’s flat geography as a child and how awesome it was to the patterns of farmland and small towns for miles and miles but nothing compared to what I was witnessing today.
Viewing the beautifully carved Andes Mountains was and is the single most amazing sight in my life. I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The pictures themselves don’t do the Andes beauty any justice. As I sat in my seat gazing out of my window in a trance, suddenly our plane was landing in Huánuco. Mountains encompassed the airport. Pictures continued to be taken while walking from our plane down the runway and into the smallest airport I have ever seen. Claiming our luggage proved to be very simple. Since we were the only plane on the airstrip, the airport officials handed us our luggage in only a few minutes. We caught taxis and soon we were speeding down a hectic and bumpy road leading in to the central city of Huánuco. From the plane ride and the drive into town alone, I can tell that Huánuco will show me much more of what Peru has to offer.