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Machu Picchu 1 • June 9-June 22, 2022

Celebrating Our Last Moments Together on our Amazing Adventure!

June 22, 2022

The final days of our trip were full of adventure, beautiful views, and lots of excitement. After our trekking section, a relaxing visit to the hot springs in Santa Teresa, and some beautiful renditions of carpool karaoke from Addie, Jessica and Ella, we finally made our way to the town of Aguas Calientas. With the help of our new four-legged friend Bandit and high spirits from our group, we walked along the train tracks to the small mountain town and home of Machu Picchu! During our walking tour, Maclean enhanced the group’s experience by asking our guide amazing and insightful questions. We came down from the mountain and made our way back to Casa Elena in Cusco by both train and bus with no shortage of engaging card games thanks to Rachel and Sophia. Jay and Willie helped in any way they could during our impromptu lesson on how to change a tire! With high spirits, we were back on the road and Cole showed amazing positivity and tolerance for adversity during our busy travel day back to Cusco. On our final day, we spent most of our time shopping in the Peruvian markets. Kate, Ellison, and Jack completely embraced the Peruvian fashion sense and came back to our hotel with a bounty of souvenirs and memorabilia! Our last and final Moonup was the perfect way to finish off the evening and captured the feeling of family that our group has cultivated over these last two weeks. We are extremely excited for our group to share their incredible mementos, stories, and adventures with all of you! Thank you for sharing them with us!

With many thanks,

Patrick and Lily

Scenes from Service!

June 16, 2022

The service section of our Machu Picchu trip was filled with new friends, many laughs, and lots of games.

We spent the last three days outside of Cusco, repairing a local elementary school and connecting with the community of Ccorca. Cole and Jay both excelled at painting ceilings, not only because of their height but also their positive attitude and attention to detail. Ellison brought her artistic energy to Ccorca and gracefully painted the walls of the elementary school. Similarly, Rachel elegantly created new games for the local students by painting new “juegos.” Jessica quickly made new friends by playing rock-paper-scissors with the local students. On the same hand, Sophia made many new friendships by speaking Spanish and having good conversations with the local students. Macclean and Ella redefined Expedition Behavior as they both continuously asked how they could help, and they never shied away from cleaning dishes or picking up trash. When the local students were performing traditional Peruvian dances to show their appreciation for our hard work, Addie and Kate both joined in on the spontaneous Peruvian dance within the ceremony. Thanks to William and Jack’s expertise in cleaning and gutting fish, we all enjoyed a traditional Peruvian meal together. Thanks to an entire group contribution, our homemade Peruvian meal was nothing short of a success. The service section of our trip provided a period of solace, connection, and laughter. We are so excited to begin our trekking section and cannot wait to share all our stories with you soon!

Until next time,

Lilly & Patrick

Here are a few shout-outs from our group!

Jessica: Hey Fam! I miss y’all so much and wish you were here to see everything. Happy Father’s Day, Dad, can’t wait to celebrate with you back in CLT. I hope Uzbek is still alive, and all the other animals miss me. Love you guys so much! See ya on the other side!

Jay: Hi Mom and Dad, hope you guys are doing well, I can’t wait to tell you guys all about this trip. Also, happy Father’s day Dad! Lina, hope you are doing good nerd, can’t wait to see you when I get back. Love you guys so much!

Ella: Hi mom and Dad! I miss you guys so much and hope all is well in STL! (That rhymes). Happy early father’s day dad, I’m so sorry I can’t celebrate and I hope Trevor Noah and Colbert were a BLAST. Love you guys so much, and say hi to Bettee Koa Spicee and Jimmy-Z for me. Love you guys!

Sophia: Hey fam!! Miss you guys and can’t wait to tell you all about the trip when I get back. Hope hoops sports are going well and Bridges has spent at least an hour away from the VR. Can’t wait to eat some good Hugh Baby’s when I get back, but tonight we had some good American food so I can’t complain. We are about to start the trek to Machu Picchu tomorrow, so I am excited. I hope the altitude doesn’t kill me. Love y’all!!

Rachel: Hi mom and dad. I miss you guys and hope you guys are doing well. I miss you and the dogs so much. Happy early father’s day!! I’m having too much fun and tomorrow we are going to Machu Picchu. I have also taken so many pictures and can’t wait to show you. Love you guys and can’t wait to see you.

Kate: Hi Mom and Dad, I lived through the first two activities and we’re about to start our trek up to Machu Picchu. I’ll make sure I take plenty of pictures to show you guys when I get home in a few days. I’ve seen a lot over the past 5 days and hopefully, I’ll remember it all so I can tell you all about it. Happy early Father’s Day! I can’t wait to see you at the airport in 6 days!

Addie: hey mom and dad I’m having such a good time in Peru. Can you tell Maiya, “addie’s coming home the 22nd and needs to talk to wilder to work things out thanks” also, rafting and service was so fun, see you soon! Happy early father’s day.

MacLean: hey mom and dad I am doing well and having fun.  I am having a great time in Peru. Happy father’s day love Maclean

Cole: Hey mom, I hope you are doing well! Pet Chevy for me and I’ll be home soon. Love you lots!

William: Hey mom and dad! Hope y’all are doing well. I’m having a great time in Peru and can’t wait to tell y’all about all the fun I’ve had. Kiss Lillie for me and happy Father’s Day Dad! Love, William.

Jack: Hey Mom & Dad thanks for sending me on this trip, I’m having lots of fun and will make sure to tell you all about it when I’m home. Also, happy early father’s day Dad.



Ellison: Hey mom and dad!! I am having such an amazing experience in Peru!! Thank you so much mom for giving me this experience! Thank you so much dad for the GoPro- it is amazing!! Also happy early father’s day! Also, make sure Taco gets extra attention!!



Lily: HI MOM!! It’s Lily, I hope you are reading this. I am having a BLAST in Peru. We are about to embark on our trekking adventure, and I will be sure to take many pictures to share with you when I am home. Tell everyone at Yonder I say hello, and Namaste. Give Bodhi a good pet for me (also Bella and Gunner). Hope Anna and Caroline are well. Also Happy Early Birthday. Love you all. Onward — Lily

Patrick: Hey gang it’s Patrick. Hope everyone is doing well and y’all aren’t worrying about me. We are having an absolute time down here, nothing like I’ve experienced before, I can’t wait to tell y’all about it when I’m back. We just finished up some service after our rafting and are set to jet for our trekking section and then hit Machu Picchu. Happy father’s day padre, wish I was in town to help celebrate with everyone. Tell the doggos I say hey, hopefully Lucy will still remember me when I get back. Much love team, will check back in when I can!


Amazing Adventure on the Apurimac River!

June 13, 2022

Greetings from Peru!

The first few days of our journey have been nothing short of an amazing adventure! We landed in Lima and after a couple flight delays and a long night, but we made it to Cusco and met our outfitter guide, Marco. Marco provided us with some much-needed delicious sandwiches and chocolate. We immediately got ready to head to the Apurimac River, packed up and set off on our four-hour drive to our campsite. Despite being exhausted after a long day of travel and a winding road to the campsite, we had what looked like a five-star dinner right by the river and called it a night.

Sophia has been the glue for the girls of our group. She has been nothing but positive throughout the entirety of our adventure! The next day we rafted through the beautiful Apurimac and Cole did not hesitate to jump into the cold water when the opportunity was given. Throughout the trip Ellison perfected her paddle splashing to the other boats, soaking all of us more than the rapids. After being given the option to swim through the last rapid of the day, MacLean and Jay did not skip a beat as they jumped right in and floated their way towards our campsite. Jack did everything he could to help our guides maintain our beachside fire as we had yet another amazing meal under the stars. The next morning, we began our day with a five-minute raft over to a cascading waterfall, where Kate and Rachel took more than a few cold showers as they were grinning ear to ear. Addie did not so much as look away as she “rode the bull” and sat on the front of the boat as waves splashed her and her raft mates. William and Jessica were fearless as some of us climbed up and took a brief cliff jumping break.  Ella could not help but laugh as she was the only one who took a dip into the river during one of the rapids.

We are so excited to embark on the next chapter of our adventure. We are headed to do some community service and make more amazing memories together!

Talk to ya soon!

-Patrick and Lily

Landed in Lima!!

June 10, 2022

Hello Machu Picchu Families!

We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Lima. The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.

Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!

-Moondance HQ


  • Addie
  • Cole
  • Ella
  • Ellison
  • Jack
  • Jay
  • Jessica
  • Kate
  • MacLean
  • Rachel
  • Sophia
  • William