Well, we have loved sharing every single memory with you along this exciting journey. We are all now safe and sound in our respective homes and having talked our families ears off, mission accomplished, we are getting ready to go back to school for our spring semester. It is hard to admit our time in Peru is over, but at least we can hope that, that is just for now. Bonding with our host families, exploring the exciting terrain and expanding our Spanish medical terminology, all provided us with treasured memories as well as reasons to head back to Peru in the near future. Peru was an experience that will last in our hearts and minds forever.
Here is a favorite memory of each of our travelers
Jae - "The best part of the trip was spending time with my host mom which helped me greatly improve my speaking skills and also resulted in a friendship that I will always cherish."
Teman - "I never really thought that I could be over-served food... Until I met my host mother. Peruvians really know how to put it down."
Annie - "My favorite part of this trip has been getting to know everyone. We've been through so much ridiculousness together (in sickness and in health), and I'm so thankful for all of my new friends and their big ole' hearts."
Mitchell - "I agree with Jae. My host family really helped me with my communication skills. When I made my mistakes, they all laughed at me and then corrected me. I'll never forget that."
Bailey - "When my little brother told me he never understands me, and laughed at me."
Molly - "It is impossible to pick only one of my favorite experiences based on all the amazing memories we have shared together. One of my most cherished times was the final dinner with the whole group. We were able to share a wonderful night of food, laughter, and lots of great music and dancing. It was so wonderful to have our families there to see what we had been doing during the last two weeks and I am so lucky to have traveled with such an amazing, talented group of individuals!"
Anna - "Getting to know my host family was a truly unforgettable experience. They treated me like family and made me feel at home in a new country--not to mention they had the cutest wiener dog."
Tiffany - "I think my favorite memory was getting to know the people at El Cultural and my Peruvian family. My favorite thing that I learned was how to converse in Spanish in a way that is normal and natural."
Gabrielle - "What I will cherish most about this trip is the relationships I built with my classmates, professor, host family, and the administrators at El Cultural. As we drove to the Trujillo airport, I was overcome with so much nostalgia for these people and this experience, and I will always hold them in a special place in my heart."
Hannah - "One of my favorite memories will be climbing down the mountain after visiting Machu Picchu--even though it was super hot and rainy, the company and views were spectacular!"
Devin - "I loved getting to know my host family and the Peruvian culture, and I was lucky enough to have a family that enjoys cooking delicious food, so I got to experience one of the best parts of the culture twice a day in my house."
Profesora Gates - "I really enjoyed seeing how the group got to know each other and worked together, even (or perhaps especially) during the minor challenges we faced. Truly an outstanding group"
Will - "My favorite memory was our short time in Cusco. The Andes Mountains surrounding the city were beautiful and the city had so much history and culture."
For myself (Kjerstin), I would have to say my favorite memory was saying goodbye to my host family because in those final moments it was clear how strong our bond was after only two weeks. The countless times we promised our homes were open to each other in both Peru and the States was almost on the verge of too repetitive. With each invitation, the guarantee of seeing one another again one day was reassuring and brought us happiness. During this experience I learned more about medicine than I had expected, but most importantly I made connections that taught me about the Peruvian culture, as well as, helped me understand more about myself than I ever knew was possible. I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity and am happy to have shared it with such and amazing group of people!
Thank you for following along, and hope you enjoyed traveling (vicariously) with us. Until the next adventure!
<3 Kjerstin and Will