Wow, three and a half months really flew by! It feels like I was just packing my bags to leave for Peru, but here I am, already back in the US. As I’m sitting in the Newark, NJ airport waiting on my delayed flight (haha, typical), I feel a lot of mixed emotions. Mostly I feel tired because of my red-eye flight from Lima, but also I feel a little sad to have just left the place I called home for the last semester and the friends who I called my family. However, I am also looking forward to seeing my family in a few hours and my Wofford friends after Christmas.
My study abroad experience was everything I hoped for! I met new friends, got to travel around a beautiful country, had an amazing host family, and most of all, I improved my Spanish tremendously. I also grew a lot in other ways throughout this semester, such as being comfortable with doing things alone. I went on a two-day tour and stayed in a hostel all by myself, and it was such a fun adventure!
Going back to Wofford, I will be so grateful for the close community of friends I have there. Being away from the support group I am normally with made me realize what a blessing it is to have these people in my life. I also hope to get more involved in the Latinx community at Wofford, such as with OLAS, so I can continue to practice my Spanish speaking skills.
I know that this semester in Peru will have a lasting impact on my life, even after I leave Wofford. I know I will have to work hard to maintain my level of Spanish, but it will be worth it so I am still able to communicate with many other people. Having obtained a conversational level of Spanish (definitely would not say I’m fluent!) opens so many doors for future opportunities. I hope to be able to travel to other Spanish-speaking countries–I think my next stop is Spain–and also use my new language ability in a future career.
It’s hard to believe that I’ll be back home in Conyers in a few hours! It feels weird to leave Peru since I was there for such a long time, but I really hope to be able to return and visit my host family one day. Right now, I am looking forward to meeting my family at the Atlanta airport and then going to eat Chick-fil-A! I am so thankful for the opportunity to study abroad and all the ways it has broadened my horizons and increased my confidence.
These pictures are from the tour I went on during my short stay in Lima, the capital of Peru. I visited Huacachina, Nazca, and the Ballestas Islands. The variation in the Peruvian landscape will never cease to amaze me!