16 May 2011

Trekking in Peru – Challenge, Growth and Contribution.

The happy faces of the children, the mountain peaks floating amongst the clouds, the ease with which the shepherds herd their llamas in high altitude, the engineering brilliance of the temples, the powerful spirituality and forward thinking of the ancient Peruvians… so many magical moments… so often the internal conversation that am truly blessed to have had this experience.

I have just returned from trekking in Peru to raise much needed funds for the StepUP Foundation and to bring StepUP to the Gladstone community.

Very succinctly, StepUP’s aim is to educate and excite teenagers about the possibilities for their future in business and in life. The program has already changed
the lives of teens throughout Australia and been the catalyst for amazing shifts in their thinking.

Participating in the Trek was also an opportunity to check out of the frantic world of business and busy-ness for awhile… to check in with myself… to reconnect with my purpose in life and to be re-energised to reach for new heights and set new goals. And what better environment than the peaks and valleys of Peru, culminating in the awe inspiring, Macchi Pichu. I trekked alongside like minded people from all over Australia and was guided by a young Peruvian man who shared his point of view based on a deep understanding of his culture and history passed through the generations – a very powerful message which gave a new dimension to our experience and learning.

What became clear was – There are treks and there are StepUP treks… Yes, this trek was physically challenging as we reached heights of over 4600 metres and walked for up to 10 hours a day, and it was important to remain mentally alert given the rugged terrain… but in addition to this we had the opportunity to spend time in the communities… we painted a school building, gave out school books, stationery items, clothing and fruit… we supported ventures who supported their community, we contributed and connected with the people of Peru and that was extremely rewarding – what a privilege. We were challenged to step up and to choose to make positive changes in our lives. So may life lessons were learnt.

And of course, the 360 degree views were incredible, the landscape dramatic, the wildlife and the people exquisite and the photo opportunities endless.

Thank you to all who supported me in my fundraising efforts – in doing so you have contributed to the future of the teens in our region.

Remember a journey outside is a journey inside… my recommendation… add a Trek in Peru to your life list!! And make it a StepUP Trek.