The trip from my site to the capital city of Cajamarca takes about 4 hours (give or take 2 hrs.) I make this journey once or twice a month for regional meetings, volunteer events or when I head out to other departments. About 90% of those trips, during some point in the journey I cry. Or rather, I am moved to tears.
Serving in the Peace Corps can wreak havoc on your emotions. One minute your head hangs low in sadness or frustration over homesickness or cultural miscommunications, and the next, you find yourself on an emotional high after the unexpected warmth from a community member, the success of a project, or the beauty of the land and people to whom you’ve dedicated two years of your life. It is this beauty and constant flux if emotions that reduces me to a silently sobbing mess at some point during my four hour rode to site.
Whether I step onto the bus happy, sad, or indifferent to the world, once my headphones are on and I’m looking out onto he magnificent countryside of Cajamarca, I become overwhelmed by the magnitude of my thoughts and emotions. I simultaneously feel lucky to be where I am, doing what I am, and at the same time I became painfully aware of exactly how far away I am from the people I love and the places I call home. It’s as if I feel so much that my body actually doesn’t know what to do other than release everything. And I cry.
Maybe it’s the beauty of the mountains or the passing of time and space, but at the end of the trip when I have finally reached my little town in the Andes, things have been put into perspective and I am very grateful to be in the Peace Corps and to live I this country. Even with the lowest lows that are guaranteed to follow me for the full two years of service, I wouldn’t give up this experience and all that I am learning from it. Thank you Peru for inspiring me, making me think, and reminding me what it is that is beautiful and important in this world.
To all my family and friends here in Peru and back at home, I love you and miss you.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
It’s December 10th and I’m feeling really good. Today marks my completion of six months in Peru. Half a year living in a foreign country as a Peace Corps Volunteer! WOOOOOO! Congratulations to me and the other 50(ish) volunteers that I arrived with in June!
It’s December 10th and I’m feeling really good. Today marks my completion of six months in Peru. Half a year living in a foreign country as a Peace Corps Volunteer! WOOOOOO! Congratulations to me and the other 50(ish) volunteers that I arrived with in June!6 months in Peru and almost four months in Cauday (that day will come on the 23rd of this month,) and I’m quite suddenly feeling very at home here. The first few months in site brought a lot of emotional ups and downs and an almost constant feeling of anxiousness. But something clicked in the last few weeks while I was out of site for vacation and a weeklong training event with the rest of my fellow Youth Development Volunteers. Maybe I was reminded of why I decided to do this in the first place, or whatmy goals for the next two years are, or maybe I just really needed to get away from
Cauday in order to truly appreciate it. Whatever the reason may be, my return to Cauday on Tuesday night felt good and right. People in town had noticed my absence, my little host brothers were ecstatic to have me back, and I felt loved. Since then, I’ve felt at ease with being here and I’m really excited for the next year and nine months (notice that I can’t really even say 2 years anymore… weird, right?)