Ah yes, WID/GAD (Women In Development/Gender and Development)is upon me again, and I am headed back to Lima to work on how to encourage other volunteers to promote gender awareness in their sites. I enjoy these meetings as it seems to be one of the few times I get together with a diverse group of volunteers to discuss this and other gender related issues. On the other hand, Lima has become even more foreign to me even though I go there about once a month. I guess for the first time since I came to Peru, I feel like Peru and Jangas more specifically is (deep breath) home. I have good friends. I have a great host family, and in truth, I don't have a lot of reason to leave, unlike Catilluc which I tried to leave every chance I got. Now the thought of leaving, even for short periods of time, is daunting. Yet, with only five months left, the idea of leaving my Jangas days behind me is becoming all too real. And therefore, I am already finding myself in random moments of sadness while sitting in the kitchen preparing and eating dinner with my host family or when I'm hanging out with my other friends and community partners in Jangas. I am going to be a wreck when I pull out of here in August.
Yet, Lima is a nice reprieve. Seeing as I've been in the rain and clouds for a couple of months now, I am looking forward to a few days of sun and my non-Ancash Peace Corps buddies (many of us converging for different meetings next week) to chase away the Seasonal Affective Disorder, that I swear I have although I've never been diagnosed. Plus, even though I try to fight the McDonaldization of my life, I am looking forward to three whole days of trips to Starbucks for the latest treat or just a chai. In the Peace Corps, work is considered to be 24/7 in one's site so I have learned to appreciate the quick trips to Lima, even though I almost always go to work on some project. It's a change of pace, a reminder of what life is like outside of the campo where the sheep and the chickens roam freely to the city life where you need to be careful crossing the street. It's a reminder of life as it used to be, but not how it currently fairs. It's nice, but only for a time...then I return to the peace and tranquility of 3:00am rooster wake up calls. A life I am beginning to prefer.