Thursday, February 01, 2018

on the inca trail

"A que fuiste a Perú?"

"Why did you go to Peru?

My Mexican friend Brayan messaged me that question my second day in Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire.

He had asked me the same question in Barra de Navidad before I left. I could tell by his face I had flunked his test.

It was the same look that flashed across the faces of many Americans when Teddy Kennedy could not answer Roger Mudd's slow pitch question of why he wanted to be president. His prospects sank faster than an Oldsmobile Delmont 88 in Poucha Pond.

Unlike Teddy, I have an answer. Not about why I want to be president (who would?), but about why I came to Peru.

I have already given you one hint. The Inca Empire. In grade school, the Inca Empire was one of those topics that fascinated me. Along with the other Teddy and the Panama Canal.

Archeology is now one of my minor hobbies. Maybe it is simply something for me to do while I try to outrun Emily Dickinson's coachman. That, and there have been a number of recent studies that call into question what we were taught in our youth.

That is why I have come to Peru. To see what a 12-year old boy imagined and just how our new view of Andean culture changes how we look at ourselves.

To do that, we need to refresh our memories concerning the people the Spanish erroneously called the Inca.

But, we can do that in the next installment.

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