I awake at 5:30am to the early sounds of my Peruvian neighborhood slowly rising. It consists of the murmurs of hardworkers starting their days, the toss of the daily bread bag thrown over the fence, the barks from stray dogs, and the calming clanking of dishes in the kitchen, from my dearest host mother, Teresa.
Even though still mentally exhausted from the constant adaptation, it is hard not to awake with a hint of smile to this simple yet complex life I find myself living in…the simple complexity of beautiful Peru. So much has happened in such little time it is tough to unpack it all in a succinct manner, but I will give it a shot.
Last Sunday, 59 of us volunteers headed to our training center to meet our host families during our 3 months of training. We all waited like little puppies as the host families came in to claim each of us. My host mother, Teresa, who stands a foot less than me arrived and we greeted each other with a big hug and kiss. We then hoarded my huge bags into a tiny Peruvian moto-taxi and made the quick trek to my new home.
The past two weeks has been filled with many meals, Spanish conversations – or attempt at them, vomiting/diarrhea, futbol, dancing, hand-washing clothes, ice cold showers, vomiting/diarrhea (yes, it happened already), mercado shopping, cooking and long walks/run. My favorite moments have been interacting with many new beautiful people, both Peruvian and American, who will impact my life forever. My host family, the other volunteers, the PC staff and helpful Peruvian strangers on the street makes me thankful for the power behind human kindness.
Overall, adapting to the Peruvian lifestyle without the luxuries of my life in the states has been eye-opening. The modern luxuries I grew up with such as hot showers, washing machines, fresh tap water, dishwashers are now unattainable in my everyday life. Although it is challenging, I look around and am so thankful to be living in this house with this wonderful family and having once in a life time experiences.
This is the only the beginning of a beautiful crazy adventure.