the first day in peru

IMG_9443
────────────
After a seven-hour plane ride and then hours on a bus, all nineteen of us made it to our host homes at approximately 2:00 in the morning. I was excited to finally be in Peru, and I remember feeling both anxious and thrilled upon arrival, as I had never been outside of the United States before. The bus ride was surprisingly calming, as it was early in the morning (1:00 A.M. or so) when we began, and I kept my forehead pressed against the window to look out at Peru’s bustling capital city, Lima. My first, most notable observations were the buses, restaurants, and other businesses whose signs and advertisements were completely in Spanish.
────────────
IMG_9465
────────────
An hour or so later at about 2:00 A.M., my roommate and I walked up to the tall, wooden gate that surrounded the front of our new home. We were greeted by our host sister, Esther, and as it was so late, and we were overly tired, we didn’t observe a lot inside our house at first. Instead, we allowed ourselves to be led up a winding metal staircase to our living quarters, and I was shocked at first to feel no difference between the temperature outside and that inside the house. The stairs began in the kitchen, and when we reached the top, we were on a sort of rooftop patio, so the house was open to the outside. At first, I worried that we would have to worry about insects (mosquitos in particular), but there are hardly any bugs in Lima because of the climate. Even better, the temperature in Lima is typically in the 60s, and it is always cloudy, so there’s no need to ever wear sunscreen or sunglasses. I loved it.
────────────
IMG_9451
────────────
Our room and bathroom were disconnected, so we would walk outside to get to each one, and the first night, I remember opening the door to our room and looking up into the sky. The night was completely silent. Even though Lima is a busy city, nighttime at our house was deafeningly quiet, the sky was lightly grey, and it was so peaceful. I felt tranquil and calm even though I was overwhelmed at being in another country without anyone familiar to me. In that moment, I was so grateful for the opportunity to be in Peru, and I could not imagine what experiences were yet to come.
────────────
IMG_9452
────────────