Personal Paragraph (Testimonial):
This trip really has been such an amazing experience for me. Before I came here, I was so worried that I would not have any friends, that my host parents would not like me, that everything bad that could happen, would happen. But exactly the opposite occurred- I made friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and my host parents were two of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, people who really treated me like their own kin and who made me feel loved and cared for. Looking back, teaching English was so incredible and I now realize how valuable of an asset I was. The kids really did appreciate my help and I really loved getting to know them. My favorite thing was seeing a little kid stare at me curiously and then smile after I would wave and greet him or her. Cuzco as a city has so much to offer, and just by walking around you can experience the city’s unique nature. Having the opportunity to see places as incredible as Machu Picchu with its centuries of culture and Lake Titicaca with its otherworldly beauty was unreal. I truly have made so many connections here- with the other volunteers, with my host family, Alfonso and Beatriz, whom I can I only hope that I will see again, with the teachers at the school, with the kids at the school, with the school itself, with the city itself. These three weeks have been three which I will never forget. On my second to last day, Maria Elena’s elderly father- or Papito as we all fondly called him- came home from a walk with one of the other volunteers, one of my dearest friends, and he came over to talk to us sitting at the dinner table. As he told us about his joy in seeing a street procession, he began to tell us how wonderful people we were, and finished it all by saying, with the most serious of expressions that truly conveyed the intensity of his sentiments: Ojalá… que no se vayan, meaning, I hope that you all don’t leave. As I prepare to part from Cuzco, I only wish that I could follow Papito’s wishes, and stay a little bit longer here in Cuzco.