Thursday, May 8, 2008

Last Days in Catilluc

Surprisingly, my last day in Catilluc was much harder than I expected it to be. I expected to pack up, give a couple of hugs and run out the door into the car that would take me swiftly to Cajamarca. Instead, I realized that there were many people who I owed a personal good-bye, as well as, many people of whom I didn't yet have photos. There were a couple of times when I was near tears as I said my good-byes but held it together like Scarlett O'Hara promising myself that I could cry tomorrow. I made a personal list of the five people/families that I would miss, and I'll share it here with you (including photos).

1. My family: We started off very rocky, and my host mom tended to be absent more than she was present, but it's not how you's how you end. And we ended very well. Our last few dinners together we sang songs, told jokes and funny stories, and it was just like what I wanted the whole time. So, I will definitely miss my family, but even more, I'll miss my host mom. She's such a free spirit, and I really hope that she gets her life figured out.

This is the gorgeous quilt my mom made for me, with my family.

2. The Doctor - he was a great guy. He was always very supportive, and he always had a good joke. He was there when I needed to talk about stuff, although I think he was frustrated that I didn't share enough. I really adored his wife and two young daughters as well.

Doctor Ademar and me in front of the Health Center. There's currently a campaign against Hepatitis B.

3. David and Ester and family - David's a sociologist and Ester's not from Catilluc which explains why they seemed to be the only two people at times that "got me" when I lived there. Saying good-bye to them was especially hard. I teared up a number of times. David even joked, when we took a picture together that he was going to tell all of his friends that I was his girlfriend from the US, and I told him that I was going to tell all my friends that he was my boyfriend in Peru. We always had so much fun together.

Here we are in their house with their four children.

4. Professor Edith - she is a science teacher and I met her because I sat in on a number of her English classes (just like in the states, sometimes teacher's are forced to teach things they aren't necessarily qualified for). She was the closest thing I had to a girlfriend, but I have a lot of regrets with Edith because I really wanted to get to know her better. She was gone for vacations during my hardest months.

This is a horrible picture, and we had obviously both been a little teary. My nose gets red when I cry.

5. Last, but definitely not least, Mama Casilda. You guys have seen her picture. I love this woman. She is so campo (from the country), I can't understand half of what she says, but she has adopted me and taken me in like I was her on. I feel lucky to have her in my life, and I will miss her so, so much.

Mama Casilda. I might have posted this picture already, but it's my most recent.

So there you have. I had a massage today, and I let go of all the horrible times in Catilluc. I now leave tomorrow to head to my new site in Ancash. I am so nervous, but incredibly excited.

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