Coming Soon This June: Michelle at SFO

So, it’s been two weeks since I last posted anything and that’s pretty embarrassing. I don’t want to make excuses (I’m just about to) but this summer’s programming has been keeping my nose the the grindstone and I haven’t gotten around to posting as often as I’d like.

Among the many things that have happened in the past two weeks, a few key points have been when I helped cook pizzas in solar ovens, rappelled down a waterfall (or more accurately, slowly-lowered-myself-as-I-dangled-in-the-air-down-a-waterfall), lead an English class for the first time, had to say goodbye to a fellow long-term volunteer who was also one of my closest friends, and bought my plane ticket home.

I’m tempted to write a reflection about the challenges and successes of this summer because next week is the last week of this particular schedule, but that very point also appeals to the procrastinator in me which believes that it will be even more apropos to write a reflection when the summer ends! I think we all know who the winner is.

More importantly, one of the more momentous moments of the past two weeks was when I decided on my return date for coming home.  With a speaking engagement in mid-June, my return date was automatically moved to no later than the second week of the month. After weeks of receiving flight price alerts from a plethora of travel sites, I finally decided to take advantage of the lowest rate that I had been seeing throughout that time and finally put the plan into stone. I bought my plane ticket and really made my return date official by adding it to my calendar in all its color coded and tagged glory.

Finally knowing an exact date (even hour) of when I’ll be leaving Peru is equal parts exciting as it is poignant. I’m really looking forward to seeing my friends without having their faces freeze in a pixilated blob on Skype, hugging my mom after getting off of my plane at SFO, breathing in the briny sea breeze while going on a run along West Cliff and most importantly, eating greek yogurt. But while writing that brings on a small ache akin to homesickness along with a twinge of nostalgia, there’s a similar sort of feeling when thinking about leaving Peru. I didn’t even know if it was possible to miss a place before even leaving, but after having gone down this particular slippery slope of emotion a few times, I think I can say it’s entirely plausible. The fact of the matter is that I have never experienced such challenges and growth as I have while being abroad and it continues to be one of the most special periods of my life. To think about leaving the places and people with whom I’ve experienced said time with is complicated to say the least. But with less than four months until it’s time to get on that plane to San Francisco, I’ve decided to forgo the premature I’m-leaving-Peru downheartedness and do my best to continue doing the very best work I can do.

On that note, I’d like to mention again that I’m continuing to fundraise for the living expenses that will allow me to continue my work with Building Dignity until June. The purchase of my plane ticket home was made possible by generous donations from people like you and I couldn’t be more grateful. Now with that expense taken care of, I am focusing on funding the costs of travel, food and rent that will be allocated throughout the next three months.

With this little two-week summary all squared away, I should probably start writing something to post for tomorrow…



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