One week from today, I’ll be back in Georgia. It’s crazy how quickly time has gone by since I’ve been in Peru. If someone told me yesterday was May 23, I’d probably believe them. I’m in such disbelief that I only have a week left here…and I have such mixed feelings about it, too. On the one hand, I want more than ever to take a hot shower and eat some Oreos and milk. I want to not be living out of a suitcase, get in the driver’s seat of a car, and talk in English to more than the 11 Americans on this trip. But then there’s the other hand – the other half of me that can get over all the first-world pains that I’m experiencing and sees how perfect Peru is. The other half of me that loves having to speak in Spanish most of the time; loves the routine of hopping into a taxi in the morning and saying “Hospital Regional” like a pro; loves the random conversations with taxi drivers that always start out with “De donde eres?” and inevitably end up with talking about the food (Peruvians love talking about food. Seriously). I’m going to miss it, I know that. But I have six days left in the country, and that’s inevitable, so I might as well just have the best week possible here.
Yesterday our group went on a couple tours of some ruins here in Trujillo from pre-Incan civilizations. I learned how much better tours are when you get a full night of sleep (something I’ve been severely lacking while here). First we went to la Huaca de la Luna (“Temple of the Moon”), an adobe settlement by the Moche people who flourished from about 100-800 AD. The huaca has painted murals on the inside walls, which were definitely more interesting than any of the Incan ruins we’ve seen on this trip. Our second stop was Chan Chan, which is the largest pre-Colombian city in all of South America. Chan Chan was home to the Chimú people (after the Moche, then conquered by the Inca in 1470). I learned a lot on the tours yesterday, and the best part was that I wasn’t dragging my feet the entire time.
This morning, a couple of my friends and I went to a contemporary church here called El Camino. It’s such an awesome sight to see people in a different country worshipping the same God in another language. It was a bit of an effort to understand which book of the Bible we were supposed to be turning to (by the time I’d figure out which book we were in, I’d forget the chapter/verse number – they just speak so fast!), but overall, it was a lot of fun and I understood mostly everything. We spent a bit of time in one of my favorite verses, Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” Remembering a verse like that in the midst of a life-changing experience in another country is incredible, because my life right now is just living proof of the new things that God can do if you just unclench your fists. And the biggest blessing is that that won’t stop when I return to the States.