The President has led our country toward a diminished role in the world the last few years and public sentiment has followed. In spite of that, our world continues to get ever smaller. We can ignore the interlocking aspect of the world today as it continues to shrink each day as travel, trade, business and geopolitical affairs affect all of us.
My wife and I took our annual trip this year to South America. We have been there before, but we left feeling we do not go there enough. Many Americans travel east to Europe or west to Asia but neglect our neighbors to the south. We went to three countries on this trip: Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. We found three countries that have wonderfully nice, warm people who actually like Americans. As a bonus all three are on American electrical current so no need for those cumbersome converters and adapters. In addition, Ecuador uses American money as its currency. It is one of the 11 in the world that do other than the U.S. What a joy not to have to do all those conversions. One more joy: no jet lag. The largest time change is for west coasters, as these countries vary between Central Time and Eastern Time as the South Americans do not use daylight savings.
Peru was our first stop and it showed there is still some third world aspect to this area. Upon seeing some of these areas you wonder what people in America are talking about when they speak of poverty. Poverty is almost nonexistent in America compared to other countries in the world.
Lima is a huge city of close to nine million people that has the contrast of many indigenous people still living in olden times and a sophisticated modern society with one of the hottest food scenes in the world. It was our initial experience of images of Incas, akin to what we all were exposed to in grade school. No trip to Peru would be complete without going to Cusco which is the jumping off point to Machu Picchu. Because of the growth of tourism and mining in the area, Cusco has become a thriving city of a half million. Machu Picchu deserves the recognition it has received as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. It takes your breath way, and not just because of the altitude. You are left wondering how the Incas built such structures at what seems like the top of the world. Developers today would kill for views like this. If we had ended our trip here it would have been magnificent. But our trip became ever more exciting.