Ryan proposed to me in Machu Picchu Pueblo, also known as Aguas Calientes. It is the little tourist town at the bottom of the Machu Picchu archaeological site. There is a beautiful little church there that I had entered the time before when I visited the town. It was quiet and had beautiful religious art. I loved it for the life-sized crucifix of the "black Christ" in the style of Spanish Realism. The statue had real hair and a painful expression.
I wanted to show Ryan this church, which had no name posted, and we walked up the aisle and knelt down to pray. We both prayed and reflected until he leaned over to me and asked to be my life companion. It was a beautiful moment that I will cherish my entire life.
Now, we're both back in the US. It feels strange to be home and about to start school. All of my adventures have ceased, and I feel as if I've awaken from a dream. When I look down at the ring on my finger, I know that it was all real, and I think fondly of what the future could bring.