Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let me go home

I'm sitting in the Miami airport eating peanut M&Ms, reading Vanity Fair magazine, and experiencing strong feelings of disbelief. What has happened? It's more than obvious that I am not in Cusco anymore and in five short (but they seem very long) hours I will be reunited with my family.

My last days of study abroad have been a complete whirlwind of packing, presenting my research, and hitting all my favorite spots in my favorite Peruvian city. Yesterday my friends brought me to the airport and it became clear that these people are not just any normal friends. We have been there for each other in sickness and in health (literally, we were hospitalized together), and saying goodbye to these people was incredibly hard.

One of the strangest feelings I have had was leaving Cusco. It was my home for three and a half months. For us college students, it felt like going home after finals, but without knowing that I will ever be back. Hopefully one day.

I don't think I have any life changing wisdom about study abroad yet, but I cannot fully comprehend that it is over. I'm going to be honest, when I was in freezing Colca canyon in my sod house there were times when I wanted to go home so badly. When I was sick in the jungle some of the days seemed to crawl by. But it's over. The only thing that isn't over right now is my EIGHT hour layover. In the spirit of re-integration into the United States I think I am going to go to Starbucks now. Peace!

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's a wild world

I go home in one week. That simple truth is presiding over every decision I have made in the last few days. My life in Cusco is wrapping up and things are just a little bit crazy. For starters, I have that lovely 40 page paper looming over my head, making fun final trips around the area almost impossible. I have been buying presents for people back home which is a lot of fun and really stressful at the same time. And the beast of them all-packing. I decided that I am going to donate a lot of my clothing to make room for all of the aforementioned gifts in my suitcase.

Today I picked up my suitcase from my host mom's house because I left most of my things there while I was in the jungle. I went through my things and I couldn't believe how many unnecessary things I had. First of all, I only ever wore three pair of pants here, which doesn't excuse the SIX that I brought. Shorts? What was I thinking. Wearing shorts in Peru says "Hello, I am a tourist with absolutely no cultural understanding or knowledge of climate." Sure it's hot around noon, but it will rain at 3 o'clock and drop to forty degrees around 6.

Things I have accumulated while in Peru:
1. Knee high black rain-boots. While they are trendy at SMC, these boots were not for fashion but for practicality. There are some pretty deep puddles in the rainforest.
2. A knit mask/hat combination for traditional dancing that SIT made us do in Lima. Seriously, I will never wear it again, does anyone want it? Here it is:

3. Notebooks and binders, what are those? Sometimes I really do forget that this is a school affiliated thing and not just a three and a half month long adventure.

I guess what I am trying to get across is that I am in a complete state of shock that this time next week I will be heading home to New York. I am going to be honest, there are times when I would like nothing more than to be home where things are comfortable and easy. Where I can speak English freely, eat things I am used to, and not worry about standing out. But things aren't supposed to be easy all of the time, that would be so boring. A lot of the time I think about how much more accomplished I feel after doing something I never thought I could do. My friends and I were talking to another tourist in our hostel and he told us that we are living the dream. I guess that is true.