It’s been a long six weeks but five of us have finally made it home! After deciding to spend the day in the municipality of Miraflores in Lima, we headed over to the heavily American-influenced Larcomar mall to eat and see Harry Potter at the movie theater. It was all at once an extremely exciting, tiring, and nostalgic day for us. We had few things left to say to one another but how much we would miss being together and sharing such wonderful experiences. We realized there were so many people who had left such an impression on our lives but would probably and unfortunately never see again. From the community members of Bello Horizonte to our Huanchaco friends, to even a number of MOCHE volunteers, an inherent part of being a world traveler or volunteer is meeting many people heading in different directions.
On the last day of work, Tuesday, the Bello community members held a snack break for us at lunch time with Inkacola and soda crackers. A few speeches were given, one of which included a line that many of us will never forget. One woman told us that Bello has not been a very united community and has trouble agreeing all the time or even working as a team, but when they saw the Nourish team standing in an organized line, passing each rock down at a time to the pick-up truck, they were inspired to work as a team in the way we so easily functioned. It was at this moment that many of us realized how much is to be taught in both directions. Experiences like these are not all one-sided.
Overall I think this is one of the best summer experiences most of us have ever had. Although we had our moments when frustration with the country, the people, or our group took the best of us, I know I will always look back and remember how much was accomplished in such a short period of time and how much I learned about my surroundings, my friends, and myself. Peru is a beautiful country with a culture whose depth is beyond belief. The opportunity to return would be a blessing for many of us.
I wish the best to David, Breanna, Carol, and Murat whose journeys across Peru still continue for about another two weeks. I know they’ll have an incredible time and fall in love with yet another region of the country. Hopefully we’ll all hear from them soon!