I made it! After nearly a year without drinking good Wisconsin milk, flushing my toilet paper and seeing my niece, I am back. (And I’m looking at the world with my new Peruvian experience eyes.)
Home felt weird at first. Even the states felt weird. When I got change at the airport, I stared at it like it was totally new. (Quarters aren’t as heavy as soles which threw me off.) The Spanish to English change isn’t a huge shock, but I did say “perdón” multiple times at the airport which was followed by an embarrassed “sorry.” One of the most common questions I get from people is “Is it nice/weird speaking English?” Speaking English in everyday situations isn’t that weird because I lived with Americans so I got plenty of English practice in Lima. But I do feel like I can really easily eavesdrop on anyone’s conversation without even trying and I really miss speaking Spanish and feeling like I’m constantly learning.
An odd thing is that Peru has almost come to be a part of my identity. I don’t know a lot of songs on the radio, I’m not up on the feather in the hair trend and I don’t know my niece’s slang like “lippy” for chapstick. But I am learning to become accustomed to my own culture that now oddly seems foreign. I’m also appreciating things I once took for granted like leaving a campsite completely unattended or washing my hands in hot water. As my mom said the week I got back, “I’m easily impressed.”
Unfortunately, my summer got cut short since I had finals in July (although I shouldn’t complain because I had a 3 and a half month summer break December to March.) After I got home, I worked for my mom’s business to make up some of the money I spent this past year. The first two weeks in August I’m heading out east with my family on a road trip. We’re going to hit up Pennsylvania, New York, and D.C. then I’ll meet up with some friends in Boston for a joyous reunion. After I’m back in the dairy state, I’ll help move my sister into college, move myself to Madison for, and then (dare I say the s word?) school starts and it’ll be my Senior year.
Time really seems to fly by, so I’m trying to enjoy every minute of it. I’m learning to live in the moment and soak up every change that life brings. I am encouraged by God’s promise in Habakkuk 1:5:
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
And no matter what country I’m in, that promise reigns true.