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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Making World Corners and Stuff

Hellooo Yak Board!

Although we are leaving tomorrow, with over two weeks in Urubamba under our belt I think most of us are feeling pretty settled here. This settling, this slipping into a routine of days full of walking now familiar streets, Spanish class, our independent projects and meals with our host families, gives us all a lot more time to think. Although physically we are moving and doing things all the time, mentally we are resting more.

I have been thinking a lot about what we are doing here. In some ways it feels like we are just picking up and leaving our “real” lives, putting pause on the things that truly matter. That we are just missing three months of our lives. This is not the case.

I am learning what it feels like to immerse myself for an extended period of time in a place where I am seen as a tourist. I have found that if I allow that to be my label it is easy to hide behind, it can be my identity and that is fine. But as our stay here continues I see how much richer the experience is if I do not let that be my only identity. I want to make connections, I want to say “Buenos dias” to everyone I see, I want the woman at the fruit stand to smile when she sees me walk up, I want me and my host mom to cry when we say goodbye, I want to dance around a Eucalyptus tree completely soaked during Carnivales. These are the things that make this an experience that I have taken ownership over, the things that make it my life that I am living, not just a foreigner on pause.

In Urubamba I am getting a chance to see why I am here. To see that I am here to give another dimension to my life which has been somewhat planar. It is not an immmediate process, we are not instantly worldly, or perfect expeditioners or groupmates. But as we grow together and become more and more enriched in Peru and what it means to live in this country I have surprised myself by how I can fit into other corners of the world.