Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Inevitable Goodbyes, Peruvian Lessons, and New Beginnings

After Australia I didn’t think I could have a more fun-filled, adventure packed year, but somehow I pulled it off, and it’s only October. Needless to say, my time in Peru was nothing short of eventful. I somehow managed to jam pack Machu Picchu..twice, spanish classes, salsa lessons, trips to Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, a pilgrimage night hike to a glacier, several treks, and other various adrenaline providing activities, moving 5 times, and working with disabled children all while teaching English as a foreign language for pennies.
Furthermore I met some of the world’s coolest people, and made some meaningful friendships that I am so grateful for. I may have failed quite terribly at Spanish, but 8 months in South America was beyond worth it and by no means a waste of time! I may not have used all of my time as productively as I originally hoped, but in the end I feel like I got more than enough out of my experience there. It tested me in new ways, and I’m stronger and more self-aware for it. I learned that while the excitement of rolling power outages, lack of central heating, and bacterial infections may seem to the unexperienced naive 23 year old me, the 24 year old me has decided she has had her fair share and has developed a new found appreciation for the finer comforts in life.
Ultimately, Peru instilled a love for teaching in me that I never suspected before. It made me respect and even enjoy the complexities of the English Language. I also realized how important food is to me, and in the end I’m not ashamed to admit that I came home for it. Seriously, try being Gluten-free in South America… it’s tough.
So I guess now that I’m back in the states, I’m dealing with the culture shock of returning home and relearning how to be an American. This has included remembering how to use my smartphone and how to turn the headlights on in my car. I’m also thoroughly enjoying the reliable and high pressure hot showers, as well as my close proximity to Pei-wei. But in the midst of all that excitement, I find myself missing the simplicity and vibrant culture in Cusco and the awesome group of teachers I grew to love. So to all those awesome Teachers, students, and fellow TEFLers stay golden until we meet again.

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