Well, I’ve come to the end of my time in Lima. Man, it went by fast. Today will be spent finishing a paper or two, presenting my digital story for my intercultural comm class, and packing. At night we have a goodbye cocktail with all our host families. Sadly, we will be sans two group members- Stephanie and Cassie- who will have already taken off on adventures to Colombia. I don’t expect to sleep at all tonight night, as we’ll all be out late enjoying our last few hours together as a group.
A few hours after our last hurrah, I head to the airport at 3:30 am for a flight to Cusco; I’m going to see my host family in Urubamba who I lived with on my gap year! (eeeeek!!!!) Mamanita will finally be getting the maple syrup I promised her three years ago! My weekend in Urubamba is the beginning of my post-semester three weeks of travel. From Urubamba I’ll bus to Bolivia to see the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, make my way over to the Atacama Desert in Chile, fly down to Patagonia for a few weeks of trekking in their practically-Arctic winter, up to Santiago and Valparaiso for a few days, and then home! So pummmpppped.
I’m definitely ready to leave Lima and do some traveling. I’m even ready to go home, I think. I’ll miss the friends I’ve made here, both Peruvian and American. I’ll say goodbye to my program-pals tomorrow, and though I know goodbyes aren’t forever, it won’t be the same when we see each other in the States. We’ve shared this incredible part of our lives together, and it’ll feel weird knowing that we’re going to keep on developing and adventuring without each other, and that in the future we’ll have to “catch up” and learn about each other again, instead of just “knowing.”
Even as I write these words, I know it hasn’t sunk in yet what it means to leave here. I’m excited to let the reflections wash over me over these next few weeks, and share them with
you once I get stateside.
Of course, I haven’t been twiddling my thumbs since I last wrote. Busy as usual, mostly with my six different final papers, tests, and presentations. But I did have some fun last weekend!
On Friday I went to synagogue and to Shabbat dinner with a family that has taken me under their wing for these past few months; every time I want to be at a Shabbat table Friday night, I call Elke and let her know I’m coming. She and her big family have been so wonderful and warm and excited to have me all these weeks, and it’s been great having a Jewish family in Peru to interact with. It’s so funny how similar the community is here to the Jewish communities back home. Some things never change… 🙂
Saturday we took our final group trip to Lunahuaná, a town in a green valley three hours from Lima known for its various adventurous outdoor activities. We went white water rafting, horseback riding, “ziplining,” and drove some ATV’s. None of it was very exhilarating like we expected (“Despacio, despacio” we were told on the ATV’s. Nope, this girl went as fast as possible!) But it was wonderful being under a blue sky with wind, sun, green and the sound of the clear, glacial blue river rushing past. Really rejuvenating. Not to mention the incredible food, of course.
The crew 🙂
A very slow “zipline”
Stephanie and Molly
Some scenery in and around Lunahuaná:
Cerro Azul, a beach close to… Lima. No surprise there, right?
Jennie and I, before I crashed our ATV 🙂
Grace and Rachel
We had our last volunteering day with the kids in Villa El Salvador on Tuesday, so of course that merits some beautiful kiddie faces, right? Specifically of Yosselyn, ’cause she’s awesome.
I thought I’d close it out with some plain old street images of what I see every day, so you can see some of my average localimalife. (If you want to see more, here’s a Day in the Life video my program made about me!)
From left to right: where I get off the micro every day to walk to school (yup, some pre-Incan ruins right there); my apartment building; the performance arts rehearsal and studio spaces (my dance class meets in the building to the right); an Incan road in the middle of campus; Tarata, the site of a deadly 1992 car bombing in Miraflores during the war between Sendero Luminoso and the Peruvian government.
Thanks, readership, for following me all these months. I’m not done yet, though! I’ll have lots to say once I get back. And who knows, maybe this blog will turn into something else afterward!
Enjoy your summer 🙂