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Master weaver, board member, student sponsor, and father of Mosqoy’s director – finally made a trip to Peru, to see the impact Mosqoy has had over the past six years. Here, he shares the unforgettable experiences that he and his wife Marka (also a student sponsor and Ashli’s mother) walked away with. Read Brent Akin's bio (Scroll down to Brent's Bio)

PART FIVE: Farewell.

It was time to leave Ollantaytambo, but not before a very special lunch at the Cachiccata home of one of our Mosqoy sponsor students, Elizabeth Jaimes Canal. Once again, we were the honoured guests, which meant being served cuy #2! It was lovely to be included as part of their family. Elizabeth & her sister Marleni (a Mosqoy alumni) prepared dinner while her younger siblings met us in Ollantaytambo to bring us to their community. We are so thankful to have spent so much time with Elizabeth on this trip, as she helps Ashli on most of her treks in spite of her studies. Her support of Mosqoy encourages us to keep helping both Mosqoy and Q’ente. She and her sisters’ wishes are to let all sponsors know how grateful Mosqoy students are for their support.

The final event the day before we left for Canada was a visit to another Q’ente weaving community, Amaru. This time we didn’t have to hike or ride a horse… Amaru is reachable by car! They gave us the royal treatment as well, donning us with their traditional clothes and necklaces made with sacred flowers, and taking us on a tour of their weaving centre and propagation garden.

Ashli’s question about the highlight of the trip has to remain unanswered, as everything was much more than we had anticipated.

However, I must admit that the Mosqoy students were the reason for coming to Peru and they more than fulfilled our expectations. We actually met our very first sponsored student, from Mosqoy’s first graduating class, Rosmery Olivera Sinchi, over lunch in Ollantaytambo. Now graduated and working full-time for the Ollantaytambo municipality’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, she is pursuing several important projects for the town, while providing for her siblings so that they may also benefit from further education. Talk about paying forward! It was so satisfying to talk with her and learn that a small contribution from us could have such an effect on an entire family and community.

We were seen to the airport by Ashli, Elizabeth, and Mosqoy alumnus Adrian, as well as Rolando Auccapuri Iturriaga, a Mosqoy 1 graduate, whom we met when he visited Canada to study at UVic in 2010. (We had the privilege of welcoming him to an Akins Family Christmas on his way to Victoria.)

Ashli went all out for us to give us the best trip we could possibly have. Patience was key, as we were slow and didn’t know the language, so we really can’t thank her enough for all her effort. We understand now why she has dedicated the last six years of her life to the people of the Sacred Valley. The incredible difference she’s made in people’s lives was evident wherever we went. We were treated like royalty, which indicated to us how much respect Ashli has in the communities of the Sacred Valley.

We would like to say thank you to all our new friends, for accepting us into your families so warmly. We are richer for knowing you.

Brent and Marka

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