Hair braiding Peru - Amy McPherson
South America Travel Diary

Memory Postcard: Making Friends

Hair braiding Peru - Amy McPherson

One of my favourite things about travel is being able to make friends anywhere and everywhere. In this picture I was on Isla del Sol, one of the many islands on the famed Lake Titicaca bordering Peru and Bolivia. They had originally approached us to ask us if we wanted to buy their bracelets. Having already possessed about twenty such bracelets (mainly gifts from families we lived and worked with while volunteering in the region) we declined. I had expected them to run off to pursue their next sale, only to have the older one pictured looking straight into my eyes and asked “can I braid your hair?”

So we found a nice sunny spot and while we chatted happily about them through whatever Spanish I could salvage… (What is your name? Where do you live? How many brothers and sisters do you have? What’s your favourite game?) this little girl braided my then extremely dirty hair (remember, by this time I have not properly showered / bathed for at least 2 weeks).

After they finished with my hair, I was then expecting them to ask for the obligatory ‘un sol!’ (One ‘Sol’, the Peruvian currency) that are usually charged on the streets of Cusco when you ask whether you can take your photo with the locals. Instead, they sat down next to us, still in the sun and played with their skirts while we continue our little chat.

While we may never see each other again, it was a great moment we shared as friends, albeit the age and cultural difference. This is one of the magic moments in my travelling life.

READ MORE on Lake Titicaca: At the Copa~ Copacabana! | Footprints and Memories

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