Brown eyes and brown skin is what I saw. Love is what I felt from the people of Peru. My summer vacation wasn’t what you would consider “normal” for a teenager. I didn’t get to sleep in until noon. I didn’t even get to lay around the house watching T.V. I spent my summer serving the people of Peru, sleeping on straw mats on dirt floors, and eating meat that had no name. Peru changed my outlook on everyday life. I realized that I took advantage of everything I was given. The nationals showered me with love and gave all they had. They never complained about having to get up a couple hours early to cook breakfast for me. Getting greeted with warm hugs and kisses on the cheek, showed how much their culture loved. Communicating wasn’t easy, and many times I had to use my broken Spanish to tell them how much I appreciated all they did for me. Sometimes, I wouldn’t know what to say, and tickling a little girl or hugging an older woman was the only way I could show my love. Even though I mixed up adjectives and nouns, the smiles they left me with showed that they understood perfectly, how much of an impact they had made on my life. I’ll never forget how special and beautiful the people of Peru are.
September 4, 2008