Sunday, May 31, 2015

i know this is my second post today, but i just had a late dinner with my family and i forgot to tell you about them and talk about a few other things. i feel so bad for not doing it sooner. first, my host family is amazing. they are, honestly, already part of my family. from the first day, they welcomed me into their home and treated me like one of their own. they even call me "hijito" (little son) rather than robin while they call the other students by their names (probably because i am the smallest and also the newest). they let me have one of the nicest rooms in their house, which is extremely nice. and they let me have access to basically everything, including the kitchen and all in it. my mom said if there was anything i wanted to let her know and she would do everything she could to buy it or get it for me, no matter what it was.
my dad is great, he is like my dad at home. he watches the same (with respect to country differences) tv shows, walks around in his underwear half the time, talks fast and mumbles, and gives bear hugs that make you feel like there is no bad in the world. my mom, from the beginning, has been one of the most caring individuals i have ever came in contact with. she treats me like a prince, and it means the world to me. when i was lost, she was the one that was looking for me on her bike, while everyone else was waiting to hear where i was. that really makes me feel like part of the family. my brothers are great too, they treat me like part of the family and do everything in their power to make me feel as comfortable as possible, and even speak english to us if we need help.
we just ate a late dinner of pizza, at about 11.45 pm (peruvian pizza is strange. the meat lovers had bologna, hot dogs, ham and salami, strange) and talked quite a bit. we talked about things from psychology (why someone drinks and does drugs. my dad was strong willed about it, and said he does not like them at all, and that makes me feel better because i do not like drugs either), to cultural differences from the united states, like kids, tvs in the bedrooms, how kids are raised, family sizes (my dad has 17 siblings and his dad has 18; holy fuck, no thank you!). it was great to talk about it. my parents talked about how they love to learn about other cultures, and i love to learn about other cultures too, so i am eager to talk more about the peruvian culture!
after the (extremely late [11:50]) dinner, i talked with my mom while she washed the dishes. she said she hasn't seen machu picchu, nor ica, and many other hotspots across the country because she would rather let her kids have the opportunities. that sounds exactly like my mom. i love my mom more than i love myself, so when there are parallels to her, it really speaks to me on a whole new level. my dad then came in and said he was going to bed and gave me the best hug i have ever gotten. i hope that isn't weird, but you know what i mean.
the moral of the story is, i love my host family so much, and i cannot wait to see what these eight weeks have in store for me.
second, it really sunk in how fortunate i and so many others are compared to other people around the world. this morning, i read andrea's blog and it said "that's when it hit me. in two hours, no matter how much or how little progress we made, i could walk away from that ditch. id soon be eating lunch, and then returning to my host family's very nice first floor apartment. just seven weeks after than id be back in the united states; drinking water from the faucet (what a luxury), being able to drive myself around instead of taking crowded, noisy public transportation, and using an air conditioner again. but those, kids [from mundo libre, the rehabilitation clinic, and many others like them], thats their life. they don't get to wash their hands of all that work and hardship (at least not until they leave_. if we didn't get that canal cleaned, so what, wed be leaving either way. for them, though, that wasn't the case. they didn't have a choice; if they want better living conditions they'd have to continue. thats how they'd have to continue to do things every day. yet, the children seemed so happy and positive." i know that was long, but it was amazingly worded and really sunk in. how fortunate am i to be able to do the things i am able to do; travel the world, attend an amazing university, live in a free and amazing nation, have a family that cares for me with no limits, have friends that would take a bullet for me, and even things like drink from the tap and walk down the street without the fear of being mugged or raped or even murdered. we are so caught up in our own lives that we forget what the rest of the world is like. living in a city like this, it really shows me how good i, and so many others, have it. we do not realize how much different things could be. we do not realize how bad things could be; and we do not realize how good things can be either. we take things like: a breakup, a broken phone, a flat tire, a failed exam as the worst things in the world. they are not even close; we could live in places, like parts of lima, that people do fear walking down the street, who do not have anyone who cares for them or people who even sell their own family members into prostitution or cartels or to anyone who wants to buy them, just to make a profit, those who do not have clean drinking water, those who do not have food, those who live on the streets or under a bridge, or those who even die because of different voids in their life. everyone should take a step back, breathe, and think about how fortunate you are to have the luxuries that we, every day, take for granted. and also to think about how much different things could be, and how bad or unfortunate things could be.