This past Sunday, Mother’s Day both here in Peru and in the States, we finally met our host families who we will be living with for the duration of our 11 weeks of Pre-Service Training. I have a host mother and father, three host brothers, a sweet little dog named Bartola, a cat, a parakeet, and seven guinea pigs (called “cuy” here). We all seem to get along really well, and they were very impressed with my Spanish, even though I don’t think I always make sense. Mother’s Day was spent settling into my room, showing pictures from my life in the US, and visiting/eating with my host-mom’s family who live in the area. She has two sisters who live only two blocks away, and each is also housing a Peace Corps trainee. It was definitely an overwhelming first day, jumping straight into full Spanish immersion, but I survived it unscathed.
As the week progressed, I got to know my family a bit better and they got to know me more. The food has been wonderful, and they have been so accommodating; I showed them some pictures of me eating Ketchup when I was younger and they went out and got me some ketchup packets for my first meal, even though it was essentially stir fry. Each day my host mom packs me a lunch for training, which is usually some variation of rice, potatoes, meat, salad, and vegetables. She also packs me a new Peruvian fruit to try each day, so be on the lookout for a blog post covering all the new fruits that I’ve had the pleasure of eating.
So far, my experience with my host family has been incredible and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better over the coming months. It’s going to be a sad day when training ends and I have to leave them to go to my permanent site.