Although the Wheatley travelers returned safe and sound to New York on Sunday, Jeff and Julianna provided one final update:
Yesterday was filled with nothing but emotion. I was ready to come home to the States, to my family and house, but I didn’t want to leave the amazing family I had made over the past 7 days. I am truly lucky to have gotten the opportunity to stay with my host sister, Claudia, her parents, Luis and Paula, and lalo, her little brother. When I woke up, I slept in very late. We had a great time the night before when we all got together at Thomas’s house, as a final hoorah before we all had to say goodbye.
When I woke up, my family had ordered pollo a la brasa, my favorite Peruvian dish. After a delicious lunch, Claudia and I had decided to just put on music and start dancing in her room. We both love music and dancing, that’s something we have in common. After many laughs, dance moves, and deep convos, it was time to head to the airport. When we pulled up to San Jose de Monterrico, it hit me. It was time to say goodbye…
I said goodbye to my host father and held myself together. On the bus ride is where it really hit me. We all began to hug and tears of sadness streamed down our faces. We didn’t know when we would ever see our second families again. The bus ride, which felt like the shortest of my life, came to an end. We arrived at the airport and were able to spend a good hour and a half with the San Jose de Monterrico students.
Then the moment finally came where it was time to say goodbye for good. I ran up to Claudia and gave her the biggest, emotional hug I think I’ve ever given anyone. This was it. We all broke down crying, boys and girls, and that showed how great of an experience we had the past 7 days. Having to let go and walk through the terminal was one of the hardest things, but I’m positive that I will see all their faces again.This trip has been amazing, and I am so lucky I got the opportunity to be apart of it .
What had only been a week felt like an entire month. Each day was filled with adventure and laughter. I can confidently say that these past few days have been the best I’ve ever had, and I truly feel that I’ve returned home a changed person. There is no other experience comparable to that of the Peru Exchange.
Once again, a huge “Thank You” to Ms. Principe-Franco, Mr. Rivero and Ms. Simoes for accompanying our students on this wonderful experience!