Hi! My name is Becky Nielsen. I am 16 and going to be a junior in the fall. I live with my mom and my dog, Charlie in Gurnee, Illinois which is about an hour north of Chicago. It’s a pretty hectic town, with an amusement park and a large mall, both within 2 miles of my house, so I like to get away from it all by being outdoors. Before this year, I spent my summers at a camp in Maine, where I loved to go on week-long canoe trips. The longest hike I’ve been on was a 3-day backpacking trip in the Presidential Mountains, and I’m so excited to hike around Peru this summer with all of you!
My connection to Peru comes from my neighbors. I’m an only child, but my neighbors are like siblings to me. Their grandfather is from Peru, and he talks about how beautiful the country is. Pápi, as we call him, is one of the kindest people I know, and although he is very quiet, his sense of humor never fails to brighten my day. There is not a large Peruvian presence in Gurnee, but many cultures are represented in Chicago, which is where my dad lives. Because of this,I am just as comfortable walking the bustling streets of a big city as I am hiking the backwoods of Maine. There is a Peruvian restaurant in Chicago, and my favorite dish there is Lomo Saltado (a stir fry with steak, tomatoes, onions and potatoes).
Home to me is wherever my family and friends are. During the school year, that could be at my mom’s house in Gurnee, or my dad’s house in Chicago, or somewhere in between. For the past 7 summers, my summer home has been at camp, with all the girls I have bonded with since I was 8. As much as I love them and the life-long friendships I have made, I am so excited to call Peru my home this summer and to start new friendships 🙂
This photo is of my friend Vindhya and I before our homecoming dance.