Goodbyes in Peru

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I’m weird (if you didn’t already know) … I like change. I welcome it.

With change, however, comes hellos and goodbyes… and I don’t handle those oh so well. Saying bye to my college friends in SC? So hard. Saying bye to a cuddly puppy every morning? Ugh. But there have been goodbyes that were harder. Case in point: saying goodbyes in Peru was heartbreaking. I promised to come back and visit, but really, who knows if I’ll ever make it back?

The hellos in Peru were great! I met so many amazing people (most of them were totally God things) and had such an amazing time with them in Peru. I met people who had never met a Gringa before. People who didn’t speak a lick of English. And I made friendships that hopefully will continue through the years to come (thank you Internet!)

[ignore my extreme Gringa-ness in these pictures. everything I wore was from Goodwill/the back of my closet and I left it there for the local people. and makeup? none for 4 weeks. don’t judge]

precious old woman
her Spanish was crazy though

little Benjamin

old man who can now read thanks to the reading glasses that were donated!

The goodbyes, on the other hand, were so difficult for me.

In summer of 2009 when I left Peru, I cried all the way to the bus stop (before a 6-hour bus ride down the mountains at night, on a sick stomach), all the way to the airport, and I seriously cried as the plane took off. Can you blame me? I was 19 years old and had just had the best adventure I had ever had- hiking mountains, playing with kids, eating fresh trout every day, telling Bible stories underneath a single lightbulb in a chilly stone room- leaving Peru broke my heart. Add to that the fact that I had caught a stomach bug and hadn’t eaten anything in almost 24 hours, and you get one depressed Meredith. I got home and slept for almost 24 hours straight, then woke up and demanded Chick-Fil-A. (sweet tea helps any ailment!)

The goodbyes from 2009 made the hellos in 2011 so much sweeter. I was reunited with dear friends who were almost like my second family. But leaving them a second time in 2011 was harder than it had been two years earlier. I cried and cried despite my best efforts to keep a strong face. I love those people.

these two are my little brothers. Love them!

mi familia peruana

mis estudiantes del grado 4

she was the only one in Lima who spoke English!

friend, hostess, tour guide, amiga

I say hello and goodbye to people each and every day, but none of those ever affect me like the hellos and goodbyes in Peru did.  None of those ever break my heart like leaving Peru did.

I know there are so many more hellos and goodbyes to come in my life, and I can only hope that they bring as many adventures, fun conversations, friendships, challenges, amazing people, and life-changing moments as the hellos and goodbyes in Peru. Although the goodbyes were heartbreaking, they helped me to grow as a person. And I am so thankful for the hellos and the goodbyes.

Who or what have you said hello to lately? Goodbye?

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3 responses »

  1. I’m half peruvian but live in germany, your post made me miss Peru, haha. Great photos! I hope you enjoyed your journey (:

      • You’re welcome! And yes, me and my mom fly almost every year to Peru to visit my family 🙂 I’m glad you like Peru!

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