today marks exactly six months since i groggily arrived to the beautiful country of peru, after a very long flight that began with sitting on the tarmac in miami for 3 hours, after a night of next to no sleep. at that time, i had little to no idea what lie ahead, and you know what? i still don’t. that is the beauty of this experience. it is, above all else, an experience of discovery. not only about oneself, but about people and culture and learning to adapt, and help others adapt to a new view point. it really is about building a bridge between that cultural divide, between two very different life experiences to helpfully create a sustainable change for everyone’s future. though, i should add the caveat that it is far from easy.
being here for six months, i am still confronting cultural differences, and deciding if this is just something that i should become acostumbrar to or that it is actually a revealed opportunity for change. though, i will never acostumbrar to eating mayonaise, cow blood, hard-boiled eggs or chicken feet. nor to the whistling and constant harassment of a machismo culture. and i don’t think i will ever get used to people showing up HOURS late to a meeting. BUT i have gotten used to only have water a few times a day, carrying toilet paper with me everywhere i go, lack of air conditioning, showering 1-2 times a week, lack of toilet seats in the country, fitting 5 people on a 3 person combi seat, eating beef heart (seriously, love me some anticuchos), constant power outages, talking about one’s bowels movements as casually as you used to talk about the weather, greeting everyone you see on the street and receiving 20 phone calls from the same person until you answer your phone.
acostumbrar-ing and not acostumbrar-ing set aside, i do know that in such a short amount of time i have learned to love in a way that i didn’t know could be done before. loving people because of their patience with my lack in ability to communicate, and their passion for change in a community. i have also learned that you can love an entire community, without knowing every single person, because you so badly want to help them realize their full potential.
tucume, has become my home. i love my site. i love my community. i love my host family.
i am home.