When I arrived in Peru, my transition was awkward and made the list of the top 10 most uncomfortable experiences I’ve had. In my ignorance, I didn’t apprehend the clash between my old life and the kind of life I would begin to experience on this course. I have traveled a little bit in my life but this was a type of place that was completely unknown to me. Everything was weird. The sunk in buildings, and dirt streets, the rickety motortaxis, the food, all the stray dogs, the different people, and on top of that, my worst subject in school happened to be Spanish. At first I was overwhelmed by the cultural changes, the language barrier and especially standing out in the middle of the city as a foreigner. I missed my mom’s chicken and green beans and wished I was eating that, instead of rice, fried eggs, and oddly grilled bananas.
However flash forward a couple weeks later, I am shocked by my transformation. Its crazy how quickly its possible to adapt to change. For example, the first day I was terrified of even asking a question in Spanish and now for the last three days I speak with my host mother for every meal and my host sister for hours at night after dinner all in Spanish (not great Spanish, but still Spanish.) I feel confident walking through the city alone, asking for directions, ordering, asking questions about how people live, etc. I still make a mistake every five seconds but at least I am no longer scared of trying.
Right now I am currently eating chocolate cake and my favorite tea in a cafe in Urubamba alone. This morning I woke up to a rooster at 6 AM, and ate pan for breakfast like I have done almost everyday now. Then I walked to Spanish class and after, went home for lunch with my host mother. Even though after Ausangate, we have settled into bit of a routine, everyday I usually have no idea what is going to happen to me. Everything is familar at home, I know what things look like, I understand whats happening around me, I can predict what people are going to say, and the day I am going to have. But here on this course, it is the complete opposite. Days are unpredictable and new and my only choice is to worry about the second I am living in now. To me, that is an exciting adventure, and being uncomfortable is part of the fun.