It is 10:26 PM in Nashville. I am back home safely and watching Impractical Jokers with my brother.
Yesterday I had my last breakfast and enjoyed a quiet morning, mostly playing with Baruna. Unfortunately, Pepa wasn’t doing well again, so Daniela had to clean out her mouth once again. She was in pain for the rest of the day. In the afternoon, I packed my bag, wrote a thank-you note, and got ready to say goodbye after a delicious last lunch of spaghetti with white sauce. We took a family photo of all the siblings and the dogs with me. Marianela gave me a nice parting gift of coasters and a hand-carved pencil. I was very grateful for all they did for me. I thought the hardest part was saying goodbye to Baruna. That was when I teared up, because I could always come back but, when I do, I’m not sure if Baruna will be there anymore. He was good to me. I’ll miss him.
Marianela then dropped me off at the airport. I said a goodbye to her and Mily, checked my bag, and waited for the flight to Lima from Cusco. I was the only one in our group who had the 10 PM flight to Miami, so I was going to be cutting it close. Thankfully, I found a few people on the plane, including a nice girl and a high school kid named Destin with his grandmother, who had the next flight. That flight had no problems, and I moved quickly after getting my bag to go through immigration. Unfortunately, my immigration card was smudged, so I had to wait in line an extra 30 minutes and had to pay a small fee. I almost missed my next flight to Miami (Destin, his grandmother, and the girl were worried about me), but I didn’t, and I got on my flight. I got a window seat, but a nice man from Belgium wanted me to switch so his other friend from Belgium could sit with him. I obliged. The flight was long and I did not sleep very well. But we arrived, and I got through Miami customs much more easily than I did in Lima. I flew to Nashville with no problems and arrived.
My parents brought me home in the oppressive Nashville heat. My dog, Fritz, greeted me, and he seems to be doing very well. I’m happy about that. After a breakfast of donuts and then a quick lunch, I took a very long three hour nap, followed by tennis and a delicious dinner out. I was very happy to enjoy some American food. It was delicious.
I really haven’t experienced much reverse culture shock, but I have noticed that the heat here is getting to me. In Cusco, the temperature never gets above 70 degrees, and it’s in the mid-90s and very humid here in Nashville. It may take a while to get used to, but if that’s the only shock I experience, then I’ll be happy about that. Re-adjusting hasn’t been a problem other than with the heat.
Right now, I miss my host family and Baruna, but I’m very glad to be home. It was a good journey that changed my life, and I very much appreciate it. But I do need to rest. It was an exhausting trip. And I appreciate the kind words I received from many of you in the comments. They kept me going. I hope you all enjoyed my blog and my day-by-day accounts of my experiences. I plan to read this one day, but, for now, I think I will just enjoy the rest of my summer. School starts back up again soon, after all.