September 10, 2013

Meeting new families

Goshen students met their Lima host families after a long day of orientation, an exciting daylong tour of downtown and two nights in the Miraflores House (a hostel). The students prepared for the meetings by reviewing information about their families and studying (and practicing) such Peruvian customs as expanded greetings and farewells, which normally include hugs and air kisses.

As they waited for their families in a comfortable lounge at the Anglican Cathedral of the Good Shepherd (Buen Pastor), the students all conceded that they were nervous. Some wondered what their new families and homes would be like. Some conceded they might have trouble communicating in Spanish. And some worried about understanding and adapting to an entirely new culture.

Still, as the family members arrived for the students, singly or in pairs, all concerns melted away amid smiles, handshakes and warm embraces. Newly formed families paused for a quick photo before gathering up luggage and disappearing into the misty evening air, away from Buen Pastor and into the busy Miraflores district, on their way to homes across the city.

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