As I watched the horrific November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris unfold from the safety and comfort of my home thousands of miles away across the vast Atlantic Ocean, I was overtaken by a profound sense of shock, sadness and loss.
Although we quickly received confirmation that our family was safe, we found out that my brother-in-law and youngest nephew, who is Chloe’s age, were in the audience watching the soccer match between France and Germany at the Stade de France that night. They were oblivious to what was happening outside the stadium gates until after the game was over. It took them much longer than usual to get home, but they did make it home a few hours later, unlike the 130 people who died and scores of others who were wounded in the attacks.
Continue reading What Paris Means to Me
The highlight of yesterday’s sightseeing was an excursion to another Inca ruin, Sacsayhuaman, which served primarily as a religious site until the Spaniards invaded, when it became a fortress to defend against the Conquistadors. The foreign explorers, who arrived in Peru looking for El Dorado after hearing that its people were covered in gold, handily beat the Incas because the Incas were not warriors. Indeed, it sounds like any victories the Incas enjoyed against the Spaniards were due more to luck than any real strategic skill. They focused on agriculture and the worship of their gods, and were generally a peaceful people unless provoked or unless the indigenous tribes refused to accept their rule.
Continue reading What the Incas Have in Common with Asterix & Obelix