In My Hands Today…

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time – Mark Adams

July 24, 1911, was a day for the history books. For on that rainy morning, the young Yale professor Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and encountered an ancient city in the clouds: the now famous citadel of Machu Picchu. Nearly a century later, news reports have recast the hero explorer as a villain who smuggled out priceless artifacts and stole credit for finding one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites.

Mark Adams has spent his career editing adventure and travel magazines, so his plan to investigate the allegations against Bingham by retracing the explorer’s perilous path to Machu Picchu isn’t completely far- fetched, even if it does require him to sleep in a tent for the first time. With a crusty, antisocial Australian survivalist and several Quechua-speaking, coca-chewing mule tenders as his guides, Adams takes readers through some of the most gorgeous and historic landscapes in Peru, from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco to the enigmatic ruins of Vitcos and Vilcabamba.

Along the way he finds a still-undiscovered country populated with brilliant and eccentric characters, as well as an answer to the question that has nagged scientists since Hiram Bingham’s time: Just what was Machu Picchu?

In My Hands Today…

Between Inca Walls, A Peace Corps Memoir – Evelyn Kohl LaTorre

At twenty-one , Evelyn is naive about life and love. Raised in a small Montana town, she moves at age sixteen with her devout Catholic family to California. There, she is drawn to Latino culture when she works among the migrant workers. During the summer of her junior year in college, Evelyn travels to a small Mexican town to help set up a school and a library–an experience that whets her appetite for a life full of both purpose and adventure.

After graduation, Evelyn joins the Peace Corps and is sent to perform community development work in a small mountain town in the Andes of Peru. There, she and her roommate, Marie, search for meaningful projects and adjust to living with few amenities. Over the course of eighteen months, the two young women work in a hospital, start 4-H clubs, attend campesino meetings, and teach PE in a school with dirt floors. Evelyn is chosen queen of the local boys’ high school and–despite her resolve to resist such temptations–falls in love with a university student. As she comes of age, Evelyn learns about life and love the hard way when she must chose between following the religious rules of her youth and giving in to her sexual desires.