We spent Peru’s Independence Day on the beach, relaxing and enjoying our day off. Flags could be seen flapping above every building in town, and we ended the day by watching a nighttime surfing competition in Huanchaco!
The last few days of work were emotional for all; we poured concrete for the roof of our clinic (it’s finally a building!) and had another short ceremony/community party to celebrate. A few of us also helped out by painting a large mural on the gazebo structure in the central Plaza de Armas of Bello Horizonte. The children were very eager to help out because it’s a place of their own. We enjoyed the opportunity to allow them to contribute to their own space. Additionally, we were able to give Celeste, a nine-year-old girl with a paralyzed mother, the opportunity to take a weekend off and be a kid, despite the problems at home. We took her to the beach, and watched her play in the waves for the first time in her life.
Today, our last full day in this beautiful country, a few of us went north for a visit to the isolated surfing town of Chicama, which features the longest left-flowing waves in the world. Hopping around on the beach and in the tide pools was a great time, and we loved this opportunity to have a last adventure in a new place. We ended the evening with a huge group dinner in Huanchaco, and now we are frantically packing and writing thank-you cards for all of the hostel and MOCHE Inc. staff that made our experience so unforgettable.
We aren’t ready to fully reflect on this trip yet. It’ll take some time to readjust to our normal lives and to start absorbing the magnitude of what this experience means to us. Which is okay, because we have videos, future blog posts and Nourish meetings this year to share all sorts of great thoughts we’ve had about Peru.
Thank you so much for your support and for being a great audience. Writing this blog has been a lot of fun for all of us, and we hope you enjoyed it. We know you are excited to have us home (we’re just as anxious!) and hear all of our stories first-hand. Until then, we’ll stay safe in travel and make the most of our last few hours in South America! Adios!