From now on we are starting a new chapter in The Leaping Llama. Some small and big changes are on the way, which include starting a business using a model of fair trade and creating a future non-profit organization in parallel with the business. This seed for this idea was planted long before I even started this blog, but how to make the idea blossom was never clear until now…
Last November we had the opportunity to visit an alpaca farm located in Baldwin City, Kansas. The farm was Ad Astra Alpacas, whose name came from the Kansas motto “Ad astra per aspera” which in Latin means “Through hardships to the stars”. The name couldn’t be more meaningful, not only for Claudia (one of the owners), who gives all her alpacas the name of a star, but also for us because we want to make a difference not only in our lives but also in the ones around us. Claudia explained to us how she became an Alpaca farmer, and her story was pretty simple yet very special because we realized how much she loved those animals. I came to realize that that moment was the starting point for a change, when we decided to do something more with our lives. Of course we had thought quite a bit about how we would like to do this or that, saying to ourselves “Maybe one day we”ll do it” but the day sometimes never comes… but not for us.
During August of last year, I was still reading the book The Art of Non Conformity by Chris Guillebeau and for the first time I realized I wanted something else for my life and for those around me. Maybe it was the fact that I had been sober for 2 years and I was finally coming to my senses or maybe it was just the fact that I was getting older. Whatever the reason was, I looked at what mark I had left for posterity, and I realized it wasn’t much. The words going around my head were: “do something different, learn a new thing , try what you haven’t tried in a while, remember the things you loved to do when you were growing up and make it come back, share it with the world, open yourself without any fears… ” And I did, and for the first time in many years I started writing again, I started cooking again, I started looking for the things I had been missing, and also I started questioning myself. What do I really want from this life? And even when the answer couldn’t have been more obvious, the path wasn’t clear.
So today we (Katie and myself) are very excited to announce the start of our business, which will be launched the summer of this year, in which we are going to explore ancient and new cultures and traditions and stories, both from my country (Peru) and here (the U.S.) (however as grow, we hope we will go to other countries, too) and create a unique and special connection with other human beings, going beyond a simple product or transaction. We hope to contribute as much as we can and collaborate as much as we can with different people. There are still some unanswered questions I have for myself, but I have realized that the more we forget about our ego, the closer we get to everybody around us. It is indeed a powerful motivation that comes from everywhere, because like I would like to believe we all are connected in more ways than we think and know. In a way, we all came from the same place, then everything else came to be… we came from the stars.
If you would like to know more about Claudia and Bob and their alpacas visit the official website here.