Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hasta Pronto

This post was originally written for, when I was a member of a Rotarian Group Study Exchange in Pery.  I added this post to One Great Dewdrop on December 26, 2012.

It's 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 30. Our group spent four days in Chimbote, taking the night bus to Lima at 11:30 p.m. yesterday and arriving here in Lima at 6:00 a.m. We are passing the hours at an apartment of a Rotarian family who splits their time between Chimbote and Lima. ¡Muchíssimas gracias por la caldorosa bienvenida!

Our time in Chimbote was full of interesting and fun activities: a church built into a hillside (and our walk down the hillside!), an amazing visit to a high school, and a warm welcome from our last Rotary Club visit (R.C. Buenos Aires with Interact and Roteract, two Rotary youth groups). I don't think any of us had much internet access during our stay in Chimbote, but I hope we'll be able to post more details and stories in the coming weeks.

About thirty seconds ago, I said "hasta pronto" to Gabriella, who is now on her way to the airport to catch a flight to Cusco with her sisters. Today our group will go our separate ways: Maria and I are spending one night in Lima before she goes to Cusco and I head south to Páracas, while Nancy and Molly are catching a red-eye flight back to the U.S.

It's a strange day. We have spent a lot of time together, to the point that I can sense when someone in the group is missing, and I automatically start looking for them. We have learned so much about Peru and Rotary International here, but speaking for myself, the more I've learned here, the more I've realized how little I understand. There are good parts and bad parts and parts that aren't good or bad, but one thing that has been consistently amazing is the reception from our host Rotarians. I know I speak for the entire group when I say that we will ALL miss our Peruvian Rotarian family very, very much.

So, on our last day together, I raise an imaginary pisco sour for brindis to my Nancy, Molly, Maria, Gabriella, and the entire cast of characters in the U.S. and Peru who made this adventure possible. May there be many more pisco sours in our future. :)

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