A different belt

by Bianca Marques (Brazil)

I didn't expect to find Peru


I went to Peru some years ago with my aunt. We were very excited about the trip, but we didn't made much plans. She had invited me to go only one week before, probably because she would go with a friend who gave up and I was the "plan B". Since I was during exam week at university and she was working a lot, we didn't have time to plan. When we arrived to the airport in Peru, we met a travel agency and a nice woman helped us to think about the trip and plan everything. We would visit some famous cities and other not that famous ones, but what I didn't expect to visit were islands. Not usual islands, but islands built by the people who lived on them. Each island had one or two families living there, so they needed a boat to go to everywhere, to do everything. Even to go to the toilet. I remember to ask how they went to the toilet when they were sick and the guy told me they had to go faster on the boat, everybody laught. But I imagine it wasn't easy. It's so natural to the majority of people going to the bathroom that we don't imagine how some people have no access to it in the same way. We went at the same day to another island, a real one this time. There, there was a lot of people living with traditional cultural habits of Peruvian people, things that you wouldn't find in the capital city. For example, single woman had really long hair. They didn't cut until they get married, because when they found a husband they would make a "hair belt". They cut their hair and use it to make a belt for their husbands, it was a way to show they were married. It worked in the same way the rings we use in other places. It was quite surprising for me at the moment. I think that's the best thing about traveling: how many things we learn about the world and about people. We have the opportunity to see things we would never imagine before, what help us to open our minds and notice how big the world is and how there is not a "right" way to do things. There are the ways we are aware of. More you see, more you learn, more you are aware of.