Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Serenity in Simplicity

One of the most striking things the modern tourist would note during a trip to Maras is how simple the lifestyles seem. There is the impression that people don’t worry about much. During our stay, we stayed with a few peasant families. They only have running water at certain times of day, and we weren’t expecting them to have any electricity (which they did, surprisingly). The toilets don’t flush, so you have to use a pitcher of water to force a gravitational flush. Yet they seemed so happy. Happy to have us in their homes, and happy with themselves.

We saw a girl sitting with her brother on the sidewalk outside one of the homes. They were dirty and eating a popsicle. At first the boy was walking, just minding his business, and then he started crying. {I think our “Holas” and weird accents scared him). His sister picked him up and hugged him until he stopped crying, but in order to do so, she had to put her cookies on the ground. (Cue Jiayi having a heart attack about the germs). Then when he decided he didn’t want any more of the popsicle, he just got up and walked away. The sister didn’t try to stop him or follow him or anything, and it occurred to me that she didn’t have to. This town was far away from the big city problems of hustle bustle and danger that we call progress.

The simplicity of life here also struck me with the housework we did. When Alanna and I didn’t want to hike back to Maras, Profe called one of the men to give us a ride back, and in exchange, he asked that we helped his mother with some things around the kitchen. We sweetened some chicha morada and placed silverware and tablecloths. They also asked us to do other simple tasks, like peeling peas and lima beans for the girls, and fetching firewood for the boys. It was such an old-fashioned thing to be doing, but it was also oddly relaxing to focus on a simple task that had tangible results of sustenance. This is their life, simply doing the day’s work.

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