For my last meal, we ate some of the family’s chancho (pig) with boiled yuca. It was such a special evening, Carmen even brought out her glass teacups for our manzanilla (Peruvian style chamomile tea with a ton of sugar in it!). We were sharing our first meal, of the family’s cow, at this table just four short months ago when Curtis and I first arrived in San Francisco, Peru bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
I can’t believe our experience living and working in SF is coming to an end. I think it will take me months to understand fully what we’ve just been through. I’m not going to lie–it was tough! Really tough at times. But it was also great.
The best part of my experience was the people. I will never forget their generosity and hospitality. They set the best examples of what real community and sharing truly means. And what courageous people they are too! And open-minded! They let three gringos show up out of nowhere and willingly entered their children into a series of health classes and activities with total strangers. I’m not sure our parents would have done the same…
My experience tagging along with Curtis and Val is and was an unforgettable one. I’ll never get such images out of my mind like that of the neighbor ladies coming over to make fresh blood sausage in the kitchen from the newly slaughtered pig, or the giant hairy tarantula I discovered guarding the latrine late at night or how Daisy Petunia Piglet loves her belly rubbed and of course there are all the kids…
This experience has added so much to my little life. I’ve been challenged to approach myself and my interests more seriously and consider my privileges and my choices with more gratitude.
I am so grateful for a new perspective on health and medicine, especially. The opportunity of living in a rural Peruvian community has added to my life experiences and has enriched my mind with new thoughts on accessible health and medicine, community, people and place.
Thanks to all of you who supported this opportunity for the three of us. I can speak for everyone in saying it has affected us sincerely. Muchas gracias desde Peru.