IT’S NOT QUITE what they expected on their once-in-a-lifetime vacation —a challenging hike up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world.
Truthfully, it hasn’t been even close to what they expected.
Almost as soon as they arrived in Peru, Pat and Alyssa Digneit, the co-owners of Digs in downtown Marquette, found the country locked down. No flights in or out, even for Americans. Further, they were essentially quarantined in their airbnb apartment in Cusco, allowed out only for trips to a little grocery store.
Prisoners, almost, in a foreign land.
“Overall, there is nothing we can do,” writes Alyssa, “but stay positive and look at this as a learning experience and a time for us to spend together without being at work. We still feel safe–we’re not sick, we have plenty of food, and we have financial help if we need it….We’ll get home eventually. We just don’t know when!”
Pat and Alyssa during “normal” times.
And that’s the problem: not knowing what’s next. Lacking genuine communication with anybody in authority.
Alyssa again: “The only anger we feel is stemming from the unknown. Absolutely nothing is being answered by any government outlet. They all send you on a wild goose chase to fill out another form, look at another website, or register on another list. And in response, we have received nothing. It is only the end of the first week but we keep hearing we might be stuck here until May, and if that’s what’s needed to stop this terrible virus, then so be it, but we just want to know how to prepare financially and mentally.”
So in the middle of this Kafkaesque experience, they must be going crazy, sniping at each other, screaming at the world?
Alyssa: “To be honest, and way beyond my surprise, we have remained calm. We both have quick moments of panic but we talk each other out of it quickly….It’s honestly brought on more serenity than I’d expected–with us being business owners, you never have the option to sit inside all day and focus on your hobbies–thankfully we have a kitchen to cook in, a deck of cards, and a phone.”
And each other.
And eventually, a flight back to Marquette. They just don’t know when.