The students finished their six-week stay in Lima with a visit to artist Victor Delfin’s studio in Barranco. Then we prepared for the culminating event of the first half of Peru SST — the Despedida — a farewell party / talent show to thank our host families, language instructors and coordinators for all the time, energy and love they have shared with us these past weeks.
The students sang several songs in Spanish and English, acted out a drama called “El Sueño de San Martin” (The Dream of San Martin), performed a traditional dance from Lake Titicaca, beat seven cajon drums in time with master percussionist Camilo Ballumbrosio and, one by one, stood before the crowd of family members and supporters and said Thank You’s that were both eloquent and heart-felt.
The next day we met one last time as a group to ready ourselves for service, saying teary goodbyes and sharing our blessings. Then early the following morning we witnessed the departure of three students to Chimbote, a port city north of Lima, three more to Cusco and 5 others to Huaraz, both located high in the Andes, and 10 more to La Merced, capital of the central region of the Peruvian rain forest.