For two years, my classmates and I raised money for a Mission’s Trip to Peru. We were going to serve at an orphanage in Ayacucho, but since this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, we also decided to spend a week as tourists in Lima and Paracas. Last summer, in 2013, when the time finally came to go, I couldn’t believe it. I had been out of the United States before, but to Ireland. Ireland was marvelous, but nothing at all like Peru. Different foods, different media, different, well, everything.
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When my group first arrived in Lima, Peru, we all took taxis to Bajas de Bano, Kaminu to stay at the Kaminu Backpackers Hostel. We didn’t have very much money, so we were lucky to find this Hostel at a great price and right next to the ocean! There were also many street vendors and restaurants RIGHT when you step out the door.
I remember going on many walks and just soaking in all of the new smells and colors around me. What I immediately noticed, was how all of the homes were like squares stacked closely together all up the mountains. Nothing like I had ever seen and each home was a different color. I enjoyed the area so much, I didn’t want to leave. I had been there for one night and it already felt like home. The people were friendly and the days moved by slower it seemed.
After Lima, we also visited Paracas and stayed at the Paracas Backpackers House (which was awesome!) and went sand boarding, because right outside of the little town we were in, was miles and miles of sand dunes! Sand dunes! In Peru? I honestly didn’t think, oh, Peru = sand. [If you don’t know what sand boarding is, it’s basically snow boarding but with sand.] I had a blast and received an epic scar on my left arm from wiping out. To get around, we drove sand buggies, which was basically mini roller coaster rides.
After our mini vacation, we headed WAY up into the mountains to Ayacucho. The high altitude was hard to get used to, so we all just drank a lot of water. It was summer in America when we went, but it was winter in Peru. I was in shorts and a tank top, while all of the people there were in scarves and coats. If I don’t like how hot our summer is here, I probably couldn’t handle it there!
When we got to the Orphanage, the staff and children were so excited and welcoming. The children were fun to play with and do crafts with and the teenagers were nice to talk to. Spanish was hard at first, but two of our leaders helped translate what we didn’t understand. We went out shopping a lot at night and I learned how to haggle with sellers in Spanish. I wish we could haggle for expensive items here in America!
Really, it was a great experience and I learned a lot from the people in Peru and definitely improved my Spanish. The trip helped me look at my life here in America and the different types of poverty in the world. I am changed for the better, because of that Mission’s Trip to Peru.
You can check out the hostels I stayed at right on Trip Advisor:
I miss Peru and want to go back!
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