It is 10:50 PM in Cusco. This will (likely) be my last post from Peru until I arrive in Nashville on Sunday.
Today I woke up, ate my normal breakfast, showered, and watched the 2015 Final Four games before I headed over to the SIT office for our last reflection session. In the reflection session, we talked about what we would miss most about Peru (I said Baruna, my loyal host dog), what we would miss the least about Peru (I said the thin air that was hard to breathe), and we gave a general review of the program. We also were asked how this program has changed us. For one, I definitely do not take my family for granted anymore. Also, my mind was opened to a completely new world, especially the hard world of the kids at Huacarpay. I think this experience will make me more grounded. We celebrated with cake and said goodbye to the SIT office.
I returned home to lunch and managed some of the fantasy Premier Leagues that I will be starting this fall. Then, I went on my last run in Cusco. I’ll miss the route I take and going into the store to buy my Gatorade. I certainly will not miss the thin air. It makes it hard to run. It’s not the most fun. Before we left for the farewell dinner, Marianela helped me clean my room one last time. I really appreciate her and all she has done for me. It will be hard to say goodbye tomorrow.
Then, we went to our farewell dinner at a restaurant in the Plaza de Armas. Marianela and Daniela came, as well as Delia and Norma from Huacarpay. Delia gave Melanie and me very sweet cards that I’ll be sure to keep. The dinner was a buffet-style meal, but it was still pretty good. I enjoyed it. There was a live band there and, as I was standing to greet one of Daniela’s friends, one of the dancers thought I had volunteered to go up and dance and swooped in and took me center stage. We salsa danced. I dance poorly, but I actually think I held my own this time. It was a lot of fun. I’ll never forget tonight.
Tomorrow I say goodbye to Cusco. It will certainly be hard to say goodbye to my host family and Baruna, but I do think the time is right for me to come home. I’m ready. I’ll miss it here.