I was exhausted. I had been up since four am on Saturday, April 11, 2009. It was now nine in the morning on Sunday, and I hadn’t lain down anywhere in that time and had only caught a few minutes sleep on the plane from Atlanta to Lima. But I was finally there, the home-base for Cross Cultural Solutions in Ayacucho, Peru. A simple but clean three-story building on a noisy street corner. My home for the next week.
We had a quick orientation, then I went to my room to unpack, take a short nap and what would be my only hot shower the whole time I was there. Lunch that noon – and most days – was chicken in tomato paste with rice and mixed vegetables.
That evening however, still exhausted, fighting a headache and feeling the effects of the high altitude, I wanted to lay low and go to bed early. That would not happen. Instead I went down to the kitchen to socialize.
Including the four of us who had just arrived, there were three students who had been staying at the home base for a while already. Harriet, Angelina and Harry. They had decided to make cookies that afternoon. It was Easter Sunday and so the logical shape – and easy – to make was round, in the shape of Easter eggs. Then we all decorated them. Colors for frosting were limited, but we managed.
I felt like I had come home.