I’ve allotted the majority of my time not related to Building Dignity activities to wrapping up my college applications. Although wrapping up seems to also mean adding one or two colleges to the list. But it’s things like that make life exciting? …Right? In any case, I am definitely keeping busy. I will apologize now for this very little post.
With tomorrow being my favorite holiday of the year – Thanksgiving – I thought it appropriate to discuss how the holidays are going down here in Lima. Festive holiday decorations and preparation is in full swing. All the stores are stocked to the brim with panetón and the supermarkets have been stocking christmas paraphernalia one could imagine since right after Halloween. Even the chicken restaurant that’s on the corner where I get a taxi to go up to CEDED has window paintings of reindeer and christmas trees with snow. It’s really quite peculiar because we’re heading into summer and Christmases in Lima – as far as I know – do not include snow.
This year will be the first time I’ll be away from home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am and was not apprehensive about being abroad during such times of family gathering and all because I knew I’d have people be with. Tomorrow I’m going to a potluck Thanksgiving dinner among my fellow volunteers at Building Dignity at another volunteer’s house in Barranco. It’ll be quite an international affair, as the host’s housemates are from a myriad of countries. For Christmas I’ll be staying in Lima. For New Year’s, I’ll be in Ecuador, half way through a mini-vacation which is a half vacation, half the aforementioned trip to change my visa.
With the holiday season upon us, I’ve been provided many reminders and opportunities to reflect on just how much time I’ve been here. Not that I don’t think about it at all – just the opposite really. But yesterday was a pretty special anniversary – three months! Three months. One quarter of the year. Twelve weeks. Any and all denominations of time do not change the fact that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to comprehend how the time is going by. Too slow? Too fast? It practically changes by the minute. Or literally.
In the three months I’ve been here I have been on numerous field trips, developed my Spanish speaking skills (still a work in progress), broken a clavicle, traveled outside of Lima, spent hours and hours working out math problems that were more challenging than I’d care to admit and eaten an equally embarrassing amount of food from the bakery across the street. Although, it would not be fair to limit the accounts of my experiences so far with a list that was really quite hard to narrow down. Some things are simply unquantifiable. Nonetheless, yesterday’s anniversary is somewhat bittersweet. I cannot speak for how I will feel three months from now, but if my current feelings are of any indication, I will truly rue the day I’m on that one-way flight back to home.