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After two years of delays due to the pandemic, the CHS International Travel Club satisfies wanderlust.

A two-year delay didn't deter Jay Mull from fulfilling his goal of taking a trip to Peru and bringing along a host of current and former Canby High students for good measure.

Mull and 21 others enjoyed a 12-day journey to Peru, June 20 to July 1, that featured plenty of history, local cuisine and reminders that many of the things we take for granted in this country simply aren't available in others.

COURTESY PHOTO: JAY MULL - Locals cross paths with a group from the Canby High International Travel Club during a recent trip to Peru.

Mull, a student success advocate, is one of the advisers for the CHS International Travel Club and said that planning for this trip began in 2018. The trip, originally slated for 2020, had to be postponed twice due to the pandemic. But in late June, it finally came off.

"Myself and two Spanish teachers at the high school, Susan Dalrymple (foreign language teacher) and Linda Newhouse (foreign language/AVID teacher), planned the trip," Mull said. "The club is designed for kids to go, but we also have parents who go. What this trip ended up being, with the delays, was almost all adults. Only two students on the trip will be back at Canby High this fall."

The rest were students who just graduated, had graduated previously, or just interested adults who wanted to make the trip.

"So, it was really a fun group with everyone, essentially, being adults," Mull said.

COURTESY PHOTO: JAY MULL - The Canby High International Travel Club toured Machu Picchu in Peru.

The highlight, according to Mull, was the visit to Machu Picchu.

"Machu Picchu is incredible," Mull said. "Words and pictures don't do it justice. It's just an incredible overall experience. The engineering and the work are fantastic. They built irrigation systems that still work to this day."

Adding to the experience was Peru's weeklong Sun Festival, which Mull and his group arrived at in the middle of the trip. While all of Peru celebrates the festival, the areas in and around Machu Picchu really bring the celebration home.

"It really was incredible to be part of," Mull said. "Machu Picchu is fabulous, but in that area there are a lot more structures, temples and those types of things. It is so interesting."

COURTESY PHOTO: JAY MULL - One of the trip's organizers, Jay Mull (right), tries to share cuy (guinea pig), a local delicacy, with his daughter during their recent trip to Peru.

One of the more unique discoveries is that the word "Inca" doesn't refer to the people as a whole. The word actually refers to the priests and nobles of the people, whose actual name is something fairly involved, Mull said.

But with all the history and discoveries about the people who occupied that portion of Peru, Mull said the discoveries the visitors on the trip make are just as important.

"It's fun to see the confidence build in some of these young people as they travel out of the country without their parents for the first time," Mull said. "They get that world experience and when they come home, they can appreciate what they have. I mean, you're over there and you may have hot water for a shower for only five minutes, or limited water pressure, or the toilet doesn't work that day, spotty Internet, or something like that."

Mull described paying to use the public restroom and the attendant giving you five or six sheets of toilet paper. You want more, you have to pay for it.

"Things you take for granted or come easy here, in other parts of the world it is different," Mull said. "You come back with a realization that you can appreciate what you have.

"It was a fun group of people who knew each other already. It was fantastic," he added.

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