Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Celebrations and Feasts and Goodbyes

It’s time to give thanks.

It started with Thanksgiving, which we celebrated in the IFSA office with a big potluck feast. I made 2 pumpkin pies, 2 chocolate-pecan pies, and a peach pie! Despite some obstacles and mishaps, they turned out pretty well.

The next night we had our goodbye dinner-show at La Candelaria! It was a showcase of various forms of traditional Peruvian dance. It was very touristy, and they were aware of that — at the end, they asked all foreigners to come up on stage and do a dance that represented their countries. Needless to say, IFSA represented the U.S. pretty well with the YMCA dance 😉

Sunday was my host dad’s birthday! We celebrated with a brunch on the newly finished rooftop patio. It was an absolutely lovely afternoon. I made a coffeecake, which despite some difficulties with the oven was a huge hit among the guests, and Klaus (host dad) himself. There was wayyyy too much food.

Then, this Thursday, we had a talk about going home and “reverse culture shock”, then the despedida (farewell) in the IFSA office. The students and our host parents came, and several of our NGO directors and co-volunteers stopped by as well. Hannah, Michelle, and Roxana from CEDED came with a poster drawn by some of the kids to thank us, and t-shirts printed by the adolescent group.

Friday, our beloved directora del programa left. :(

From now on, students will be slowly trickling out as they finish their finals and catch their planes home.

So now it’s time for me to give thanks.

Thanks to Lali, nuestra directora muy querida. You have done so much for us, from the first hug to the last… from welcoming us and feeding us and scaring the hell out of us about safety and then reassuring us that it’s not all bad, to picking us up from Barranco at 5am when we got robbed (I still owe you an ice cream for that)… to helping us deal with problems and miscommunications and obstacles every step of the way… thank you for everything.

Thanks to Mama Laura and Maria Elena, for always being there with a hug and a kind word and a smile, and for doing all the work behind the scenes to make sure everything went smoothly.

Thanks to all the patas, for introducing us to Peruvian life and helping us with translations and turning in two essays for me when I couldn’t make it to PUCP in time (Diana) and showing us your favorite spots and generally being good friends.

Thanks to the CEDED folks (employees, volunteers and kids) for making my volunteering enjoyable! You are all great.

Thanks to my Peruvian friends and acquaintances and professors for being kind and understanding to my gringa self.

Thanks to the IFSA gringada for being your chévere selves. We had a great semester. Keep in touch!

Thanks to my yunta, Drew, for going through just about everything with me, good and bad, and still being my yunta through it all.

And to my host parents… they get their own post.

Just over a week until I board my plane home. Aside from doing 4 projects and a final exam, I’m going to try to make the best of it!

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