When I accepted this gig in the Peace Corps back in February of 2011, I had no idea how far away August 2013 actually was. When I landed in Peru in June of 2011, the stark reality hit me. And it hit me hard. Here I was, living in a strange country, (trying to) speak a different language, totally unaware of what was in store for me. 27 months of not knowing what’s going on? 27 months away from friends? 27 months of living far away from my family? 27 months of 24/7 Spanish? No, thanks! The thought of actually making it to the year 2013 without giving up was absurd. There was no way I could make it; no way was I going to live in a different country for TWO WHOLE YEARS. I think I came to a silent understanding with myself that I would not last until 2013.
Yet, as I type this, we are already almost half-way through January. What? When did that happen? How did 2013 sneak up on me like that? The words of one of my favorite Peruvian songs explains it best, “Me enamoré. Sin querer, sin razón, sin motivo. No sé como fue pero me enamoré.” Loosely translated, it means, “I fell in love. Without wanting to, without reason, without purpose. I don’t know how it happened, but I fell in love.” How true that is. I fell in love with this country, with the way of life, with my host family, with my kids, with the stupid television shows, with Cumbia music, with mangos, with marcianos, with naps after lunch, with bailes, with trips to the river, with bucket baths, with Spanish, with absolutely everything. Even the things that I hate, like loud speakers blasting music at 6am and the Piuran heat, have become dear to me. I have fallen in love with all of the little things that make up my time here. Yet still, I don’t quite understand how more than a year and a half has already passed me by. It’s definitely true what they say, “The days pass slowly, but the months fly by.”
2013 has arrived. And with it, a million more experiences, and finally, the day that I will go home. I’m ready. I’m ready to finish my time here with a bang and make as many more memories as I can. I’m ready to go to the river a million more times; ready to drown myself in Inca Kola; ready to make a thousand more friendship bracelets; ready to sweat profusely in this heat; ready to take a nap every afternoon with my host sister on the mattress we strategically placed directly in front of the door; ready to experience it all. I’m ready for the months ahead, and, come August, I will be ready to go home. Bring it on, 2013. I’m ready.
“It is said that you don't know what you have until it's gone. But, it is also true that you don't know what you have been missing until it arrives!”