As I packed up my hiking backpack early that morning my hands wouldn’t stop shaking with excitement.

Because THIS was our next stop:

Those ancient ruins of a perfectly crafted civilization.

Something I had been dreaming about visiting for as long as I could remember.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to even post about this, because there is so much to say.

SO I figured I may as well do an introductory post before I delve in.

This trip deserves two preface stories for background, because it had been a long time in the making.

So here we go:

Story #1:

Back when Dave and I were living in D.C. with almost three little kids in tow, my growing-up family did some traveling. I wrote lots more about that back HERE, (I was second of nine kids, so just as I was getting home-bound with my own babies, all my younger siblings were finally old enough for my parents to really move places). One of the places they went that fascinated me beyond anything else was Machu Picchu in Peru. I think I have mentioned before how it holds a special place in the hearts of us Eyres because of a funny/endearing story about my then-teenage younger brother Noah. He loved it so much that he, a romantic at heart, wrote a note to “his future wife,” rolled it up and put it in a bottle and buried it in that place.

Fast forward years later when he actually met the girl of his dreams, decided he wanted to ask her to marry him. It just so happened that she worked for a doctor who was doing a service mission to Peru and, long story short, Noah surprised her there and tried to find that bottle (as she sat, confused as could be as to why he was randomly digging in the mountains of Peru), before he gave up, knelt on one knee and proposed to her.

They never found the bottle, but it sure made for a good engagement story and brought a pretty incredible girl into our family who we all love so much!

Anyway, I guess that was part of what cemented Machu Picchu in my mind and heart. If my teenage brother loved it so much that he went through all that effort, I was pretty sure I would love it too.

And it is, after all, one of the seven wonders of the world.

So it had been on my bucket list for a long, long time.

After all these years of thinking about it, we decided it was time to make it happen.

We always knew this was a trip Lucy wouldn’t be able to join us on.

There is too much hiking involved.

And it was a perfect year because she was tucked safely in school in the space when our adult kids had a week off from school, and my brother would be here to stay with Lucy.

So we were trying to make plans.

Story #2

As I mulled over how to make this trip work, I happened to be talking to my high school friend Marie. We were talking about our upcoming summers and I mentioned I was trying to plan a trip to Machu Picchu. She was surprised at that because as luck would have it, she and her family were also planning to go to Machu Picchu.

Planning to go to Peru with an organization they loved called CharityVision.

And that is when the stars aligned just so, because we fell in love instantly with that organization.

They do so much good in the world with a mission to “restore lives through sight.”

It was like a sacred whisper to me that if we couldn’t cure our own daughter’s vision (although we are sure trying with all our might, and will never give up), how grateful we would be to help provide vision for others who did have hope?

CharityVision partners with organizations all over the world, and together has helped millions literally restore their lives through sight.

So much more on their website HERE, but we love this organization who gave us the opportunity to screen kids for glasses, help distribute the glasses, and even observe some of the cataract surgeries they did while we were there.

I LOVE that they have Peruvians running the program, Peruvian doctors doing the surgeries, Peruvians conducting all the outreach eye screenings. And a pretty awesome American woman as our leader to show us how it’s all being done.

There was something sacred going on in our hearts as we had the opportunity to help with the business of vision restoration. Especially as we thought about what a difference this would make for Lucy.

So overwhelmed with the gift of vision.

After we got things planned, we got a hanger in the works:

Claire accepted this:

Which meant she couldn’t come along with us (the first game was shortly after we returned).

This was really hard for her mama I have to say, and sad for her too. But she was participating in a different chance of a lifetime that I know she won’t regret.

And who knows, maybe she’ll get her with her future family just like I did with mine.

We were in a group with three other couples and their kids, (two with one kid with them, one with two kids in tow), all the best people:

It was so interesting to learn their stories and work alongside them with the service we got to do.

So grateful my friend Marie hooked us up with this opportunity:

Loved being with her, and also her husband who graduated from high school with us as well.

We were on the go the whole time…stayed in a different hotel every night. We utilized every minute, and boy howdy I am still sorting through pictures but hoping to post them tomorrow!

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  1. I wonder how those people feel, having people like you and your family come in to “help” them do the very things they do every day and have been doing for thousands of years. What help could you possibly give them? I think it’s sad that in order to get life saving surgery for someone, their entire village has to entertain families there to “help” them. I also think that this is a great way to make a vacation into a tax write off for charitable purposes.

    1. Oh I’m sorry if this came across wrong. We were able to help the organization who is doing so much good with donations and support, and be exposed to the good they are doing in the process. I’m so glad to be able to spread awareness as to what CharityVision does, because really, it is changing lives through restoring vision. Helping people who couldn’t get the care otherwise which changes their trajectory in many ways. And don’t worry, no one had to entertain to get life-saving surgeries! They give those out right and left with no strings attached, just because they saw and need and wanted to do good. We got to visit a village that was SO grateful for how CharityVision changed their daughter’s life, they were so excited to share their culture with us and it was so wonderful to get to know each other and learn from each other. (More on that coming on Friday.)

  2. I’m so glad you got to visit that beautiful place and check off your bucket list, while lending a helping hand. I am grateful for you and the light you are in this world! Keep doing good things!!

  3. Machu pichu and the sacred valley are really glorious amazing places. We took 3 off our kids there a couple years ago and loved it so much

  4. I am so glad your family had this opportunity to help this organization. What a blessing to them and your family. I am excited to see more pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I have kind of the same question: How did you actually help? I appreciate that the charity uses local doctors and I’m sure as helpful you were for a day or two, it wasn’t long-term help. So was it about bringing awareness and money to the charity/cause?

    I’m happy for you that you could see the Machu Picchu!!! And I have never heard the “Noah story”, how romantic was that?!

    1. Good question, see above answer but I’ll expand here. We didn’t do anything to “help” aside from donate to help this organization in a small way to keep doing what they’re doing, but we felt so grateful to be immersed in this process of how lives can be changed through something as small as a pair of glasses for someone who wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise. Dave had a pretty cool experience with that that I’ll share on Friday. I am so grateful for that opportunity for all of us to learn so much about the good that people are doing in the world. The doctors give of their own time to help, the directors are so fully entrenched in what they are doing, it’s a pretty incredible system.

      And yes, Machu Picchu on Friday too…beware, it’s going to be a long post!

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