Guest #5: Mairo Moya

Name: Mairo Moya
Lives in: Arequipa, Peru
Home: Asillo, Peru
Age: 28
Occupation: Anthropolgy and Archeology Student and Tour Guide

Mairo Moya, 28, was born and raised in Peru. Although he attended school in Peru's second largest city, Arequipa, he returned to the family farm in Asillo every summer to farm sweet potatoes, corn, beans, and other foodstuffs. He moved to Puno, Peru, to carry on his studies in anthropolgy and archeology. He is currently studying tourism and leads excursions to the Reed Islands to see the Uros people. He is married and is soon to be a father (in the next week). His current plans are to further his efforts in the tourism industry by creating his own business, and he has a heartfelt dream of building an orphanage to help the many parentless children in the Asillo area.

Would you be up for 9 months of travel like this?

Nine months of traveling like this would be great. Nine months is only a short time to learn about all the culture and places around the world. Traveling like this makes it possible to see how other people live around the world, but most importantly it teaches you about your own culture, values and what is important to you.
What is your most memorable moment during your portion of the journey?
When we took the Pichacani road to look for the point of confluence. After we took off from the main highway and the two vehicles were racing for the point of confluence, one got stuck in an irrigation ditch. While we trying to dig the car out an angry farmer came over trying to figure out what we were doing. I had to talk to him and answer his angry questions, but all was fine after the conversation and we able to dig the vehicle out and get our pictures of the confluence.
What advice do you have for future travelers in the program?
When you are traveling it is important to be very careful about the interaction you have with people from the local culture. In my opinion it is important not to give money for a picture. I mean if you start giving people money to take their picture, the next generation will grow up believing that they should get money for having their picture taken. Over time what this does is destroys the culture of groups around the world.

My advice is to interact with the local people. There is always something to learn from whomever you come into contact with.

What surprised you the most?
I was surprised by the technology--the computers and the radios you have. Also, going after the confluence point; it seemed like a strange thing to do. Even though it did not have anything to do with your primary mission you went out to get this point of confluence. Everyone had a lot of fun, including myself, but it seemed like a strange thing to do.
What was the best thing you ate?
A meal called Three Color. It consists of french fries with three different types of meat: beef, alpaca, and sheep; rice, carrot, beans and lettuce and ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard.
What was the most difficult part of the traveling experience?
The most difficult part was imagining that it would take 4 to 5 hours to cross a simple border. It had never taken me more than an hour. Luckily, the border crossing was easier than everyone thought, and it was just like I imagined; it only took about an hour and a half.