Tour de Despedidas [Week Three]

This coming weekend will be like:

Week Three: Eat. Read. Nap. Eat. Hike. Read. Eat. Nap. Cook. Eat. Walk. Read. Snack. Sleep.

Jenny Makes Epic Balloon Tower for Baby Shower

As reported last episode, I spent these first two weeks of the Farewell Tour on high-alert to not overstay my welcome, in a weird limbo-identity state, in fear of being a burden, nuisance, or extra mouth to understand only part of the time. Sure can’t ask directly because culturally Peruvians deeply value hospitality and rarely say no even when they want to.

So? Estoy listo to ghost any moment.

Que tonto.

Turns out, being here may never feel like long enough.

Pauly in New Work Uniform for Anniversary Parade

Pauly: We will steal a car this week and you will drive the family to far places.

Me: Okay

Pauly: Tuesday you will learn to make cachangas [fried dough we they 😢 serve on Saturdays at the restaurant]


Pauly: Wednesday you teach us your choco-cheep cookie recipe

Me: Okay

Pauly: I take Thursday and Friday off and we shall visit Huancabamba and the chakra you will buy so you can have star fruit and Quito Quito all the time.

Me: …

Pauly no work Thursday? I no leave then. I stay?

Pauly/Jenny: [Spanish words strung together at a rate equivocating a bitch-slap]


Me: I leave early so you like me still?

Pauly/Jenny: [Actually slap me]

Me: Okay

I wonder how much harder saying goodbye would be if I had made it to end of my service in June 2020?

Maybe by then the honeymoon would have worn off and all those damn Close of Service Kumbaya fuzzy meetings I am missing (jajajajaja) would have me gracefully prepared and not doomed for ugly crying.

In the meantime, my heart braces for my friends about to COS. Sorry guys. It’s a bumpy ride. Y’all are screwed.

Pollo Relleno, Typical Weekday Lunch
Preparing cachangas; Family Cafetine (Saturday Restaurant)

Lessons in Progress:

1. My Peruvian family functions in the |absolute perfect| present. They’re not sitting at the lunch table thinking “this is Yesy’s last Monday in Oxapampa.” They’re just yelling at me to eat more and making fun of my refresca.

Lomo Saltado

2. The Service Drama “Hook”: Still finding myself caught up in the hook (to borrow from Pema Chodron) of Peace Corps Peru chisme and drama. I am simultaneously relieved to no longer be part of it (though weirdly compelled listening to it) and a little sad missing out.

Who am I kidding. SMH.

I’ve got other brick walls to run into. Like government jobs in DC that want me to start in two weeks.

Early Farewell to Site Mate B

3. Speaking of hooks, my medically-evacuated luggage remains in logistic purgatory in the Lima PC office. It’s been three months with multiple failed promises and no signs of being shipped. Tempted to pay the hundreds of dollars to take it home myself (three independent tickets, three separate oversized luggage fees) and let bureaucracy win so I have my sleeping bag and hiking boots back and be divorced once and for all.

Jenny’s Floral Installations at the Oxapampa Church

4. A moment in the kitchen when I realized I wasn’t transducing Spanish-English-Spanish in my head.

You guys! I honestly believe I speak Spanish now! For real.

5. H/t: Suzie: The Maori in New Zealand have a belief you need to stay put in one place while traveling until your spirit catches up. During my medical adventure and eventual separation from Peru, I felt hollow. I acutely felt the absence of my spirit and heart.

This is why I came back to Peru as soon as I was medically cleared.

I now know I am whole again simply because I can feel how many pieces I will spill into upon saying goodbye.

Vamos a ver.

Parting Shot

Peru vs Ecuador, America Cup, final shut-out:


One Reply to “Tour de Despedidas [Week Three]”

  1. ♥️
    Anxiously awaiting a real time phone call when you’re stateside. Have fun with tu familia and travel safe! Don’t collapse any bridges!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: