The day I arrived in Huanchaco, I was bursting with excitement, I couldn’t believe I was there. Before coming here my parents, grandparents, and close friends had all warned me multiple times to be safe and know where my belongings were at all times. This in a way, set a fear in the back of my head of the people in Peru. I didn’t want to go into this adventure with any big expectations and I wanted to take in everything with an open mind and heart so I tried not to let my family’s words bug me. After living here for almost three months,
I have fallen in love with the people and this place. The community welcomed me in with open arms. The first week here I met a man who didn’t know any English and even though I did not know much Spanish, he took me through the local food market and taught me what each fruit and vegetable is called and even bought me some. This automatically showed me the kindness of the community I was living with. As I warmed up to my new foreign home I got more and more comfortable with talking to the locals. I learned about their lives and their hopes and wishes, some simple as wanting a good full meal.
Something that I have noticed while talking to the locals is that they are patient when I am trying to communicate to them and never get mean or rude. The janitors at the school I work at act so kindly to me even though they don’t know who I am. They always ask me questions about my daily life, like what I eat at home, what I like to do on the weekends, where I live, or the weather. I feel flattered that they want to get to know me even though sometimes I don’t know what they are saying. It’s the little things about the community, like the janitors always wanted to talk to me that make my day just that better. Peru astounded me which it’s authentic beauty and welcoming community. Nearing the end of my ten week journey here, I get nostalgic looking back at all the smiles and laughs I share with the people here. I will miss my daily hugs and kisses from my students each day and watching the bright orange sun set into the ocean while surfers catch the last waves of the day. Wherever I went, I was able to learn something from a new set of eyes, whether it be a 70 year old man or a 12 year old student. Peru showed me a stunning new side of life that I will always remember. There is something magical about Huanchaco and I was lucky enough to experience some of it the times I’ve been here. Peru has truly touched my heart and it will always be a part of me, wherever I am.