When dreams come true and the impossible is possible!
The adventure started with two rainbows, two rainbows that heralded magic and colorful events. I'm on my way home from Oslo, the year is 2004, and I have been with my spiritual teacher, Kathrine. Katrine's class was strange, Kathrine sees past, present and future all at once. She could see Indians, children and change. I was going to play an important role in these changes. I understood nothing. I was going on my first business trip to Peru three weeks later. We were looking forward to getting to know the people who had contributed to Per and I having managed to build up the company Du Store Alpaca.
We were to see the alpacas in their proper element, and I was to experience something of the same fascination for Peru as Per had done almost 30 years earlier. Yarn yes, but children? Five weeks later we were at the airport in Juliaca on our way up to Mallkini. There we were received with open arms and equally open hearts by Moses and Juhanita. We had never met before, but this meeting was to be the beginning of a long lasting friendship. We got in the car and started driving towards Mallkini, a two hour drive up in the Andes. As we turned out of the airport, we saw two rainbows. They followed us all the way to Mallkini. Then I came to think of the rainbows I had seen in Norway and understood that there was a connection. Here it was important to keep all the senses open and notice the signs. These signs were to lead us on a journey we had never dreamed of. Parts of this journey I now want to invite you on now.
Eleven years later, we pass the lake full of trucha, small trout, which the Peruvians love, and I feel it start to tingle in my stomach. We are approaching Mallkini, where 46 children have been waiting for us for almost two years. Here we met the two siblings Marisol and Alex who were to help change our lives and not least the lives of all the alpaca hunters' children in the area.
It is soon Christmas and we know that many have counted down to this day. Today we drive on an asphalt road, albeit a little potholed. In the past, the road looked more like a cattle trail than a main road between Puno and the jungle. Travel time is shortened by one hour, and it has become a much more comfortable trip. I enjoy nature and remember the very first time I came this way. I was slightly altitude sick: I was more than sitting in the car, but I still noticed the two rainbows.
The journey is coming to an end, and we turn left just before Muñani and drive through an avenue of at least 100-year-old cypress trees, a rarity up here on the highlands. We pass an abandoned hacienda and drive across a plain with quinoa and canihua which unfortunately does not show its best side this time. The soil is beginning to deplete, and it has rained too much for the crops to be at their very best. A couple of years ago, these fields shone in all shades, from yellow-orange to red, purple and violet. This is the treasury of the Indians who live up here. It has been the main source of food for centuries.
Now the western world has discovered how extremely nutritious these plants are, and farmers choose to export them instead of eating them themselves. At the end of the plain we round a small ridge, and then we see the sign with the text Benve -nido a Mallkini in slightly peeled letters, which welcomes us to Mallkini. A couple of hundred meters further up, we drive into a new cypress alley, and then the children come running. We wind down the windows, and they throw themselves over the car, grab our arms and shower us with greetings, questions and hugs. Then come the tears. I'm at home with my kids.
Some completely different children than those we met eleven years earlier.
Read the rest of the story about how Norwegian knitters have contributed to building the Mirasol School in the Andes by knitting with alpaca yarn in the book Hjertstrikk. Per and I were most recently in Peru at Christmas 2015 and then we learned that child mortality has been reduced from 50% to 0 in this district. Talk about rubbing salt in my wounds - d'oh!
Today, Du Store Alpaca has taken over the main responsibility for the school together with Michell in Peru. For each skein of alpaca yarn sold, there is a contribution, in full to the Mirasol School. If you want to contribute a little extra, you can deposit an amount in the Mirasol account number: DnB 7253.05.14979.
Also from this account, the entire amount goes in full to the school.
Thank you for taking the time to read about the Mirasol School - my heart project!