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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Limón Away From Home

Our host mother, Justina, bustles around the adobe brick kitchen with a bright orange skirt bouncing around her ankles. There is a fire in her eyes that I have only seen in the most passionate and protective of mothers, and she waves her arms around, speaking frantic Quechua to her sons, who are also searching desperately for the precious item that they now need. Livana has just asked for a limón. Suddenly, nothing in the world is more important to Justina. When she finds the green orb, she grins widely and hands it to us to season our potato soup, thrilled to know that we are happy.

During our time in Paru Paru, every member of the community went out of their way to make us comfortable, and did not truly seem fufilled each day until we were back in bed, bellies bulging and heads full of new ideas about Andean culture and visions of the beautiful mountains surrounding us. In this way, Paru Paru felt more like home than many of the places we have travelled thus far, despite the many ways in which their rural community was different from my known world. For that welcoming and generous spirit, I am extremely thankful.