Today was my 19th day in Peru. To be perfectly honest, I really haven’t been counting the days because 1. that seems sort of senseless considering I’ll be here for a lot of days and 2. the time has been going by so quickly that I just haven’t even thought that much about it. It’s easier to track weeks at this point. But even today, I realized that something that I thought happened last week, really occurred two weeks ago.
As told in this blog, my time here has been anything but uneventful. For almost two weeks, I hadn’t seen my host, Ana Maria because her mother became very ill and had to be hospitalized. Some of Ana Maria’s family also live in the same house as me, but because my room is more like an apartment, I don’t necessarily see them every day. I was really quite concerned for a while, but a couple of nights ago I almost literally ran into Ana Maria in the kitchen while I was getting some yogurt out of the refrigerator. After the surprise encounter, we (mainly Ana Maria) caught up on all that had happened during the past week. I’m still not sure when Ana Maria will be coming back to work at CEDED, but it looks like things are getting better.
Ana Maria’s absence has consequentially given me a lot more independence. Another reason behind that first solo-trip to the market was because there simply wasn’t anyone for me to go with. (But nonetheless, the main motivator was the aforementioned Metro trip at night.) I’ve even become a little more adventurous with spending my time in Villa El Salvador. For example, my market trips now yield more diverse products i.e. avocados, pears, a different flavor of yogurt, grocery bags, and snacks like gummy bears and these candied peanuts. Baby steps. My favorite discovery is a panadería that’s across the street from my house. I’m still not sure if it should be considered a favorite or a dangerously bad habit. Basically, this place sells delicious baked goods for not a lot of money and what more can a person ask for? This morning I had the terrible problem of having to break a 20 sole bill and obviously that might be sort of hard at the open air market (it probably wouldn’t be) so I guess I had to buy something at the panadería this morning. Shame. I ended up buying pastry rolls, avocados and one chocolate that I wasn’t really sure about. But then I tasted it and it was basically a gourmet s’more and my morning was made. I’ll post a picture later. Words cannot do it justice. These little outings are just a few examples of the things that I’ve grown very fond of.
Truth be told, I frequently think about what it will be like to come back home. These thoughts aren’t fraught with longing or wistfulness, they carry more of a curious and in some cases regretful nature. I say regret, because I have already become quite happy with how things are going and sometimes the thought of not being here brings on a twinge of sadness. But my plan is to be stay for seven (and at most eight) months, get a summer job, then begin college in the fall. But then I could argue with myself about the fact that I had a very similar plan (that’s even mentioned in a pre-departure blog post) and that one didn’t really pan out the way I planned. It’s hard for me to not over-analyze or think too far ahead, too quickly. Nonetheless, I believe that this period of my life is a very unique way of instilling skills that will help me embrace life’s more spontaneous moments.
There are definitely two clear mentalities that could be embraced while being here: counting down the days or adding them up. If that even that make sense. But at this point, I’m just trying to keep track of what’s happening today.