July 30, 2014

Playing in Peru one last time

During their concluding retreat, Goshen College students in the Peru Study-Service-Term summer program reflected on the past three months. They discussed the highlights and challenges of service, presented their final academic projects and pondered what it might be like to return to the United States. They also played, enjoyed each other’s company and rested.

Joel tries to avoid Emma's swift advance.

Joel tries to avoid Emma’s swift advance.

Our gathering was held at a Christian retreat center called Kawai, which is located on the beach about a 90-minute drive south of Lima. Facilities at Kawai consist of a large collection of spacious buildings amid well-landscaped grounds, just a few hundred yards from the Pacific Ocean. It has wide lawns, palm trees, a nice swimming pool and a broad beach, perfect for long walks and contemplation.

Students pause for a group photo.

Students pause for a group photo.

Goshen students enjoyed strolling on the beach, gazing at the Pacific Ocean and observing a wide range of birds. The persistent cloud cover and cool temperatures of the South American winter did not deter students from visiting the beach and splashing in the ocean. The beach also was the site of a bonfire, which including roasting marshmallows and making S’mores.

Sunset on the beach at Kawai.

Sunset on the beach at Kawai.

On the final afternoon of the retreat, students paid one last visit to the beach. Some students took long walks; two climbed a nearby bluff; and some just gazed at the waves. It was a great way to say goodbye to Peru and prepare for the long journey back to the United States.

A message from students in the Peru SST Summer 2014 group.

A message from students in the Peru SST Summer 2014 group.

The attached photo gallery provides glimpses of the beauty of the beach at Kawai and what students did to relax during the retreat.

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