Christmas is approaching fast but it all seems so far removed as the sun here in Peru is getting hotter every day and plans are afoot for a three week break from our work.
By the time you read this I will be on the road, although I am not entirely sure where I will end up. These plans are fluid and subject to change, but coaches and flights are being booked, hostels researched and ideas swapped.
I will have attended a ‘do’ to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the NGO and I will have experienced Chocolatada – the main Christmas event for the children and their families. Nearly four hundred presents will have been wrapped and distributed – a humbling experience when you consider that the football or that doll may be the only toy that the child receives this Christmas and the gifts of panetone and milk to the parents may be rare luxuries. Many of the volunteers are planning to travel throughout South America over the holiday period, some are returning home to the States and sadly some will be moving on from the NGO or returning home.
I have only been in Peru for five weeks but it seems like a lifetime. Despite the complete chaos that is Peru, the language barrier and bombardment of different food, culture and customs, I am loving it. The children at the NGO are all adorable, I love the street food (plastic bags containing hot quails eggs for breakfast are a staple on my walk to work through the parks) and of course, pisco sours. In the few weeks that I have been in Trujillo I have met some amazing people and I will be very upset to say goodbye to them. The volunteer house crackles with emotion and drama (think of it as an international Big Brother), and living is conducted at high volume in several languages but I know that I will remain friends for life with some people here.
I have tentative plans for a VERY long road trip with a couple of friends, first to Lima and then onwards to Arequipa from where we hope to trek into the Colca Canyon. Christmas day may be spent in Cusco – from here it is a train ride up to Machu Pichu, then from there possibly more buses to Puna, Lake Titicaca, over the border into Bolivia and La Paz, but all of this is subject to change.
I will travel as light as possible so I will be leaving my net-book behind. I will bring you up to date in the new year with my adventures and experiences, so please excuse my absence for a while.
Thank you everybody for taking the time to read my blog and I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy, peaceful New Year from South America. To my family who have mastered Skype, thank you for your love and continued support, to BF, what adventures we are having in our respective countries and to my VERY best friend and your family whom I love as my own, a million million hugs and kisses – and yes Father Christmas DOES manage to squeeze down there!
For my children, where ever you are, I send you heaps of love and I hope that next Christmas I can send you more than a card. Stay safe, be happy and live your lives to the full. It is too short and too fragile to waste on hate or bitterness. My greatest wish is that you will forgive me and allow me a second chance during 2014