Just recently I came back from five days in Lima for medical checkups and meetings and the like. Our whole group comes back and we give little presentations about what we've done in our sites... and basically eat really good food and get to hang out between all of our random appointments around Lima. (or Lame - a as some people call it :) During my trip there I took advantage and went to go visit my Itzel (my little host niece who lived with me for a year and then just a month ago her mom and her left to live and work in Lima) because I miss her sooooo much. And though amazing to see her, to sing Happy Talk with her again, to read her books like No David No!, and head butt game :) Gladys and I (her mom) basically were just sad that the visit was so short and that I couldn't take them with me back to beautiful Shilla. It struck me hard when I saw them on a gray cold corner of Lima with their jeans and "modern clothes" when I was so used to running up to them after going to work at the colegio with a background of dirt roads and mountains and adobe houses with their polleras and skirts on, Itzel dirty from playing outdoors all day. And Itzel had never seen me in Lima. At first I think she thought I was a different person.
I know I know I know. I'm selfish for wanting them back. Gladys left to go earn some money (which is nearly impossible to find in Ancash because of her lack of education and her young 4 year old daughter to take care of... in Shilla my family lives off the meager selling of products like corn and potatoes... and the help of some NGOs... it doesn't bring in much and in Shilla, to just sustain and live, you don't need much) and she's looking for something more... her boyfriend's studying in Lima, etc. etc. She's making a better life for herself. I realize this in my rational head and support her. But they are not happy away from my host madre, away in a world so different than the mountains of Ancash. I imagine there is more of a shock between any campo place in Peru and Lima than for me to go from Peru to the U.S. It's Lima vs. the rest of Peru and Lima's winning. It's a city full of souls working, studying, waiting for their chance. Save money. Make a better life. Normally with the idea that they'll return to where they are originally from. But it usually doesn't happen. They stay in the gray ciudad. They continue working and studying and hardly sleeping for many many years and then become used to it. And I don't want that to happen to Gladys.. Especially not Itzel.
So, life can be hard for Peruvians when moving away from home. Moving away means going to the coast because the coast holds more opportunities. To make it that much harder, the families here are a lot more close knit as you can imagine. To leave your parents and siblings is not the same as in the States (although I'm not saying there's some difficulty there for us too, but). It's leaving your vida. It hurts my host madre on a whole new level. She told me she would cry when I leave too. It's going to be painful to leave here.
Yeah, so although on a cold note, those are my thoughts. I'm so grateful that I received the host familia that I have. That I had the chance to meet Raul. That I have such great Peacecordian friends who are always there to cheer and support you even after the hour and a half dentist appointment because you had 2 cavities and that was even after the nurse STABBED you (yes.. haha) while drawing blood. Boy I hate medical stuff. So there is always good in my Peruvian life which makes the hard stuff worth persevering through.