Luke Melia


June 14, 2002

6/14/02, 2:58 am

My friend Celinda (who, shameless plug, is walking in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk – Donate Here), sent me some questions to help me reflect on my trip. They follow, with my answers….

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part was being there with my mom, and my brother and sister. When my dad and mom split up, it was just us four, and so there was something special about being together again. I wrote a song on the trip about it. Some of the lyrics go:

My brother and my sister
Grown up under so many suns.
This southern sunshine kissed here;
Drew us here to this mountaintop town.

All together at the top of the world
It’s all so clear what matters
All together at the top of the world
It’s all so clear what matters
Give me some love and some air to breathe
All together
at the top
of the world.

Which part did you most dislike?

I most disliked not being able to take a full breath in the high altitude of La Paz.

When were you most fearful?

I was the most fearful walking back with my sister Jessica to our hotel in Cusco, Peru, down a deserted, narrow street. I had spoken to a traveler who had been strangle-mugged outside of Cusco recently, and my andrenaline was definitely pumping walking along that dark street.

When were you happiest?

I was happiest at the top of Wayna Picchu, a peak that overlooks the ruins of Macchu Picchu. It was a strenuous 45-minute hike up the mountain, and the satisfaction of making it and watching the mists part to reveal the grandeur of the ruins but a big smile on my face.

What was the greatest learning experience?

Hmm. Entering a new culture is always sort of a general learning experience. But specifically, I guess it had something to do with seeing the difference that the economic prosperity makes in the happiness, habits and friendliness of the people we met. Peruvians and Bolivians have a tremendous economic disparity between them.

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