"This was an extra-curricular trip organised with Antipodeans," says Library Manager and staff member in charge, John Cummins. "The expedition is student led - they took responsibility for managing the tour budget, to organise logistics, where we stay and what we eat."
A personal highlight for John was getting to the top of the Sacred Valley at 4650 meters. "It was a great achievement and the views were unforgettable. The team suffered the effects of altitude, but they managed to get to the top."
The island of Ticonata was the location of the community project. The team added three meters to a stone warf, allowing larger vessels to dock at the island in the dry season when the lake level is lower. "The work was hard and involved carrying rocks and moving mountains of sand. But the friendliness of the locals and their gratitude for the labour we provided made it all worthwhile."
The highlights of the tourism side for teh students included Machu Picchu, the sand dunes of Huacachina, the mysterious lines of Nazca and the Plaza de Armas, Arequipa. The students enjoyed trying guinea pig. "It tastes like gamey KFC” was heard over a dinner table in Arequipa. "For some of our students, the thought of facing more quinoa proved to be too much and required several trips to get pizza," says John.
This was certainly a trip of a lifetime and a chance for these students to take time to examine their character and to see their place as global citizens.