My first week in Perú has been filled with lots of new activities and emotions! Upon arriving, I felt a little nervous, but when I met my host family, hopped on a taxi to have a delicious Peruvian dinner, settled into my bedroom, and finally looked outside my window, I felt more excited than nervous for the upcoming days.
The next day, my host mother took me to see a parade. At first, I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of people I saw there. I also heard music everywhere coming from different bands. Cheers from the dancers and their bands, the audience, and everything else was a bit overwhelming! However, I reminded myself that just because something is new and overwhelming, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily bad. I embraced it and ended up having a wonderful day with my host mother and admired the cultural dances.
For the first day of school, I knew it was most definitely going to be a new experience in the sense that I was going to have a completely different mode of transportation to my school and a new schedule moving forward. My host mother guided my roommate and I towards the school both by taxi and by walking up to the school. The next day, our host mother showed us how to get to school by the bus as well. I definitely wasn't used to either modes of transportation for school or the amount of walking, but I learned that something being different to me isn’t a bad thing. Once our host mother taught us all the ways to get to school, my roommate and I were on our own. Thankfully, we were able to “master” catching the bus on time and getting off. However, once we got off the bus, challenges arose. Even after our host mother showed us the way, we kept on getting lost on the way to school. We would take wrong turns and end up being unnecessarily far from the school. However, a few learning experiences from this is that my roommate and I were able to ask locals for directions as to where the school was located. Every local person we asked was incredibly friendly and helpful. We were able to know how to get to the school. For me, asking for help can be nerve wracking; however, it’s a great way to practice the language as well as be able to learn more about the people, the place, and the environment, which is something absolutely positive. Even when we were lost and finally recognized the path to go to school, the walking was something that was a little bit difficult at first for me as I’m just a little bit out of shape and the altitude can minorly affect it. I was able to look for the positive and walk through the beautiful Plaza de Armas every single day and admire the breathtaking neighborhood of San Blas on the way to school. However different this first experience might have been for me, I was able to use the bus and taxi to get to many different places as well as enjoy feeling the sun on my face and smelling the different food shops along the way to my school, which have made this different experience for me one that I will never forget.