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Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

Comfort in Discomfort

“Finding the comfort in the discomfort”

This quote has resonated with me the most as I have started this wild journey. I have been thrown into a group of students where 5 of 7 come from the same university that I am not a part of. Have had no choice but to socialize with people all day everyday so far while being an introvert. I have eaten many potatoes and foods served to me by my host family that I get very sick of. I have had trouble communicating with a host family because of the fact that they spoke more Quechua than Spanish. I have had to sleep in a hut at very high elevation alone with a door that does not shut….making it quite freezing. I heard the community announcements(not knowing that announcements blasted through the community every morning) and thought that the community was under attack and we had to evacuate.I have had to clean out a guinea pig pen with my host dad while 50 guinea pigs ran around my feet in a dark room. And this is only the first week!

While all of this discomfort has gone on, I have also found an immense amount of comfort. I have felt very welcomed, loved, and supported by the other students and instructors. I have made great friendships. I felt totally welcomed into the community of Part Paru. My homestay family did everything that they could do to make me comfortable and were so excited to show me their way of life. I have been honored to come back to a country that I love so much. I love hiking and have gotten to hike in the beautiful Andean mountains. I have eaten a home cooked meal with hot tea while being in the middle of mountains with llamas all around me.…. and so much more.

This experience might be really uncomfortable at many times. However, if you really try, there is a lot of comfort to be found. I hope to find it throughout this semester.