Kindness of strangers and friends

I did lose my teacher friends in the crowds in Paucartambo, around midnight. I was feeling a little nauseous, so I left the crowd and went to sit on a step just a block away. Two hours later, I could not find my friends.
I wandered the streets but found no rooms available in hostels or hotels. Took a cup of tea in a cafe, and asked the people if they knew where I could find a room. No rooms, they said. I noticed their mattress rolled up on the floor, explained I had lost my group and wondered if they could rent me a piece of their blanket. ‘There are too many of us’ they said. Finally, as I put my head down on the table one of them said, they thought they knew where I could lie down for the night. They led me to their father’s house and took me up to a room where I lay on a mattress on the floor for the night, complete with coat, hat and shoes because of the cold.
In the morning, a young woman in the next room greeted me and said, ‘I didn’t even hear you come in!’
She didn’t even want to charge me for staying the night, but asked me lots of questions about my work. She just finished a degree in education and wanted to know how to start a non-profit organization. I told her I thought the best way was to work in one and see how it works.
I did find my friends again eventually in the plaza, but lost them in the afternoon and made my way back to Cusco alone on a bus.
It was nice to sleep in a bed with sheets at Mary Carmen’s house, and she even gave me a hot water bottle for my sore muscles.

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