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Poverty is not Picturesque

I spend a lot of time in impoverished areas—ones that have also experienced disasters—so the neighborhoods where I do projects are not usually considered “pretty.”

the view from our new rooftop

no mini-warehouse to store things

part of the old house

A traveler I met in Ethiopia once remarked, “poverty is not picturesque.” I agree, but often the surrounding areas are quite scenic. I thought I’d share some images from my daily walk to and from work here in Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of Peru. I purposely chose to rent a room a 40 minute-walk away from the project site so I could get some exercise every day.

We work from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. so the morning and evening walks give me a time for private reflection, as well.

Here are some of the sights I see along my route to work:

15,000-foot snowcapped mountains rise above the town of urubamba

the street where you buy food for your llama

after 20 minutes walking in the cold, sometimes i debate whether to take a moto-taxi

the blue wall - half way to work

other people going to work at 6 a.m.

monesterio san agustin

just outside of town - inca-trail guides cleaning their equipment, and themselves

how could such a beautiful river destroy so many lives - rio vilcanota behind our house

arriving at work

looking back from the site

on the way home, i might stop and get a snack in town

deep-fried sweet potato- and pumpkin-flour doughnuts with fig syrup - picarones - yum

moto-taxis ("motos") are called tuk-tuks in asia. half motorcycle, half pinball machine

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