Hola, and welcome to my first blog post here in Peru!
Since my arrival on Monday, it has been a whirlwind of meeting new people, learning new things, and beginning to adapt to a new culture. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little intimidated by it all. Being pushed to rely on my semi-rusty Spanish skills for communication has been a challenge for my mind, and adapting to an altitude that’s roughly 11,000 feet above what I’m used to has been a challenge for my body. I often find myself a little confused with what exactly our assignment is for class, or needing a siesta after lunch due to the physical and mental challenges the day has brought.
However, in spite of the challenges this first week has brought, I find that my experience has been a little like the weather here in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Sometimes it’s sunny and warm, and you can see the one snow-capped mountain in the distance, signifying how excited we all are for this opportunity and the adventures we know we will have over the semester. Usually, in the middle of the day, there will be a thunderstorm or it will rain for a while. We all go inside and wait for the sun to return because we know it will, eventually. Even though all these new adaptations that the first week of the semester has brought have been a challenge, I am beginning to find comfort in the new friends I have made already on this trip. And, more often than not, the anxiety or nerves I feel about my Spanish skills or meeting my host family (which I am on my way to do right now!) turns into excitement. As I’m writing this, we are on our way to Cuzco to officially begin the semester, and I can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you along the way!