As my time here draws to close (literally today), I have to say I’ve learned so much about the language, the culture, the people, and even, myself. It has really been the cliched experience of a lifetime. I will never forget the pretty, incredible places I’ve visited, wonderful people I’ve met and all the riots I’ve started (okay, that’s not true, but I have been to a few protests…accidentally). I intend to post more of my thoughts about my trip when I return because apparently I don’t blog often enough to keep up with my brain, but this post seems most appropriate given my flight back into the States is today. So with that, we will commence with lists (I love lists!) about what I will miss in Peru and what I’m excited to about in Amedica.
The Miss List:
- Choclo: So all this is is really giant corn, but I love the way it tastes and I’ve never seen it back home.
- My host family. My host brother is hilarious as previously mentioned, and my host mom and dad are some of the sweetest people I’ve met. Plus, my host dad makes the most amazing fresh juice for breakfast every morning.
- Also, fresh juice for breakfast.
- Being called reina (queen), in the non-creepy, non-hit on kind of way. One of my friend’s host dad called us this and I’m not going to lie, I like it.
- Kisses on the cheek. Granted, physical contact use to make me very uncomfortable and I still can’t figure out hug etiquette (it’s harder than it looks) but it’s a sweet gesture. If I kiss you on the cheek in the U.S, here is my apology in advance (preapology? anticipapology?), it’s just habit right now. I’ll break it some day…some day.
- Babies in hats. I haven’t done much travelling, and please don’t get offended if you have a baby because I’m sure it’s adorable too, but Peruvian babies are probably the cutest babies I’ve ever seen in my life. Ever. Especially when they wear hats.
- Llamas everywhere. In the streets. In sacred archaeological sites. Everywhere.
- Walking. I get to drive a lot in America and walking to places is a nice time to think, pray and just enjoy being outside. Except in torrential rain, then you run.
- Hearing Spanish all the time, everywhere. Yes, I know I live in New Mexico and tons of people speak Spanish, but it’s not a requirement. Truth be told, y’all speak a lot of Spanish slang too (see what I did there?? huh? huh?). Excuse the language, but this is pretty accurate.
- The amazing people I have met. I’m not an experienced traveler by any means and the opportunity to meet so many beautiful people from a variety of different countries is wonderful. They bring their own language, customs and beliefs. I have learned about countries I never paid attention to before (Sorry! I blame it on the U.S. being so big that I’m still trying to figure out New Orleans, well that and the entire East coast). Also, I realize that New Yorkers are basically from a different country (but I jest!).
- Cheap things. I can buy dinner for $2 American. I can buy food cheaply. I like that.
- Being tall and blonde. I am by no means tall, but here I can actually look over the heads of some people, even while the women are wearing heals. Also, I am not blonde, but my hair is so much lighter than the local populous that the kids at my kindergarten persistently asked me why I had blonde hair. I told them that I ate too much yellow jello growing up.
- Movies in Spanish, without subtitles.
So apparently I’m going to miss a lot of things, but home is where the heart is. And I’m not referring to that random Natalie Portman movie from 2000. I’m not pregnant and I will not be giving birth to a baby in a Wal-mart. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0198021/. Alas, I am distracted…
American Wish List:
- My truck. Haha that last statement renews my American citizenship and confirms my Canadian heritage in two words. I can’t wait to see it and drive it again. I realize I said walking is nice, because it is, but I like that freedom that comes with my truck. UHmerica.
- Green and Red Chile. This is food. Does it need anymore explanation?
- Being able to throw toilet paper in the toilet. It’s the little things, man.
- The Gila and the Organs. I want to be able to hike all over these again.
- English! Finally, a language I’m good at, although, I can’t spell anymore to save my life and almost every word that ends in tion, now ends in the Spanish ción. Oh, and sometimes I forget the English word for something.
- Cooking. I never realized I would miss the freedom to prepare my own meals.
- Salad, real salad.
- Tap water. I can’t wait until I can drink tap water again. It’s a staple of my childhood.
- My credit and debit cards. I lost them while I was here…
- Pancakes and bacon. Should I be worried that so far four of the 10 things I’ve mentioned on the list are food related? Nah.
- More clothes, so I can go back to doing laundry once every month and a half.
- My church and RUF families. Cannot wait to be reunited with some of God’s beautiful people.
- My friends. What a glorious reunion that will be.
- My mom, dad and sister. It would be easy to say family, but each one is so important to me and blesses me in a variety of different ways that they all deserve their own recognition. Excited to once again be reunited with the love and wonderful spiritual guidance of my mom, the wise and intelligent conversations I can have with my dad about politics, world events and sports. And of course, my sister, who understands me better than anyone in the world, and loves me regardless.
Can’t wait to see you all.
Photo credit: choclo-http://www.fullmercado.cl/tienda/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=242, kissing photo: http://www.newlifeinspain.com/2011/11/kiss-on-cheek.html, babies in hats: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/bolivia/la-paz-lima-2288/itinerary truck: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3391931/1997-chevrolet-silverado-1500-regular-cab/ toilet: http://www.1dental.com/blog/2011/08/08/flush-toilet-toothbrush/ salad: http://spoonerdelivery.com/deliver/salad/ tap water: http://spoonerdelivery.com/deliver/salad/