Last Friday night I finally made it to the Casa Girasoles Kusi home, which is located approximately 9 hours northeast of Lima. I’m currently here with a team from Huntsville, Alabama – a work team I translated for last summer too. I was happy to see some familiar faces as they exited customs, and have enjoyed getting to know the new members.
Friday we made the long, but absolutely beautiful trek from Lima to Kusi. Billy and I were lucky to have seats in the first row so we were able to look out the front bus windows at the majestic Andes mountains as we followed the winding road. To reach Kusi from Lima, we traveled north on the Panamerican Highway (the same highway that travels from Alaska to Chile) along the Pacific Ocean, and then turned east and climbed high into the mountains, finally reaching an altitude where we could see snow. Words simply cannot describe this trip.
Nor can words describe the time I’ve spent here in Kusi. In Peru, there are two national languages, Spanish and Quechua. Spanish was brought over in the 1400s by the Spaniards, while Quechua is one of the many indigenous languages. The name Kusi comes from the Quechua word for joy, which is appropriately used to describe this home.
The past few days it has been great to see the same boys from previous years. With all the sites, I feel I have the strongest connection with the formerly abandoned boys of Kusi. Many of them call me hermanita (sister), la fefa (the boss of the groups, with the Andean accent), among many other names. I immediately felt back at home in the house parents, Rosa and Angel’s house and with the now 43 formerly abandoned boys.
I’ll be here in Kusi until Friday, where I’ll take the Alabama group to Lima for a few days, and then return to this wonderful place.