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Healing in the Peruvian hillside

"We need to talk..." I heard Michael's voice before I saw him. A moment later, he popped around the hedge to where I was sitting in the garden of our hostel in Cusco, Peru. I had just finished a five minute coughing fit and was doubled over holding my chest, which was raked with pain and - I was pretty positive - was building some pretty permanent scar tissue at this point. I was almost a week into a horrible upper respiratory illness that had me coughing so hard that I had lost my voice and that had left me with almost constant ringing in one ear. Apparently this was not too uncommon in Cusco where at 3,800 metres, the air was thin, the nights were cold, and the weather was dry. Michael sat down next to me and began telling me how his family of three had experienced something extraordinarily similar the last time they had visited. While he was sure that my upcoming travels to sea level in Colombia would bring the end of it, there might be something I wanted to try now. T
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