Classes are over, so…
Now that classes are over, the activities just won’t stop! The group has been running around trying to have fun together for the last time before we all go back home. Some of our latest and greatest events include…
It’s difficult to find words to describe just how perfect this dinner. Everyone baked an amazing, traditional gringo dish to bring to this potluck. The smells and flavors reminded me so much of home! I baked sweet potato casserole for the first time, which turned out fabulous, and others brought dishes like stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Furthermore, the fact that we all gathered together to eat stimulated a family-like feel, so I didn’t even feel like I was spending Thanksgiving outside of the country! This group has truly become a new kind of family to me outside of my own.
HUNGER GAMES 3: SINSAJO
Although this isn’t news-worthy, I feel like I must say that this movie was slightly disappointing. I am a HUGE Hunger Games fan, but this movie was only the first part of the final movie, so it basically spent the entire time setting up the plot for the final movie, which will have the most action and drama out of any of the movies. Slightly upset for paying 12 soles to watch this on the big screen, but I’m over it Clearly, everyone should still see it. If you weren’t planning on it, after watching this I’m sure you’ll change your mind –>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Tsj_wTJkQ
The dinner and show that the group enjoyed here ended up being one of my most memorable events of this trip. We watched multiple traditional Peruvian dances, participated in games on stage, and danced intensely ourselves within a 3-hour time span. There was one part in particular that was my favorite. During one of the breaks in between the dances, flags were presented to guests from different countries within the room. Our group has representatives from India, Cuba, and Canada – but all three students had already left when the time came to call them up on stage to receive their nation’s flag. Therefore, I took the liberty of accepting the Indian flag. What ensued were some shenanigans that basically ended up with another student doing an Indian interpretive dance on stage in front of all the guests that night. That will forever be one of the most hilarious memories during my time abroad. Here’s the website to the venue: http://www.lacandelariaperu.com/home.php
These two hours were a bit difficult to get through. Our resident director debriefed us on what to expect of ourselves upon returning home. There are a few things that I already knew going in, such as the fact that reverse culture shock will probably be stronger than my initial culture shock coming to Perú and that not too many people will not be terribly interested to hear all of what I have to say about my study abroad experience. What I did not think about, however, was how much I’ve changed throughout these past four and a half months. Because I have expanded my mind and abilities, I may very likely change my daily practices and even my friend group. This idea scares me but excites me at the same time. I chose to study abroad for that purpose amongst many others. So, I am trying to prepare myself mentally for all of this, but everything is happening so fast, it’s difficult to slow down my mind and really process what going on both externally and internally.
After the talk, we symbolically left our mark on IFSA by painting our hands and placing them on the office walls. After that, our host families came to talk with the other host families and students for an hour or so. Then we had to say our final goodbyes to the majority of the group since a good number of people were leaving the following day to embark on their final journeys. I think we will all have time to go out one last time as a group on the 14th since most people leave on the 15th. Still, saying goodbye yesterday was not fun, especially since none of the other students live particularly near my hometown of St. Louis.
Anywho, attached are some great photos of the previously described events I’ll post once more after my final trip to Arequipa to reflect on that trip overall and perhaps even my return back to the U.S.