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Not sure if any good can be expected of an 8-hour overnight flight, but then LAN does include good hot meals, still surprising to this American traveler. So after crossing turbulent Mexico, skirting Central America, and shooting the gap between the Galapagos and Ecuador, I arrived in cool, humid, foggy, gray Lima. The fog plus the surrounding sandy hills does actually look very much like the area around SFO, begging the question of why I needed to make this long journey in the first place.  

The chatter of language foreign to me, my curiosity to travel and see how other people adapt and thrive, and my desire, likely genetic, to help remind me why I’m here. In theory, I’m traveling as an ambassador of engineering, bringing knowledge and experience (that I gained from others, of course) to Peru in an effort to improve the water supply, and health, of two small villages of 60 people each. (These communities are in a valley, yet still perched at the breathtaking altitude of 14,500 feet. Imagine living on the summit of Mt. Rainier.) 

In practice, I plan to learn much more than I teach, and the first lesson is right here at the Lima airport, where multinational electronics giant LG has set up kiosks where travelers, such as myself, can take a selfie with a backdrop of a llama and some Incan ruins. The selfiellama.  Seems insulting to refuse this hospitable gesture, so…


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