Goodbye, Lima–and thanks for everything

Manco Cápac, Mama Ocllo, the sun god Inti, and the cast of thousands

To mark the special occasion of our despedida—our host family thank you and service sendoff party—Lima was graced with a few unusual raindrops and, more significantly, a beautiful rainbow that seemed to end right at the Good Shepherd Cathedral hall, where we gathered Friday night to celebrate with our host families, language professors, coordinators, and other friends of the program.

The students put together an impressive evening of entertainment, including music (both singing and a drumming performance on the Peruvian cajón), dance, a juggling act, and an individual speech (in Spanish!) from each student to their host family. They also treated the audience to a variety of theatrical performances, including the comical “Five ways to spot a gringo” skit and the dramatization of the Inca legend of Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo.

The entertainment was followed up with some excellent refreshments: plenty of Inca Kola, chicken sandwiches, guacamole and chips, and the very popular “puppy chow” that Goshen students have introduced to Peru over the last several years.

The despedida fell on Julia’s birthday, so we took the opportunity to celebrate by singing “Felíz Cumpleaños” to her, as well the four (!) March birthdays: Ben, Hannah, Lauren, and Tim. Fortunately, we had many people on hand to help us enjoy the five delicious birthday cakes.

The evening was a meaningful and very fun conclusion to the SSTers time in Lima.  Unfortunately, our camera malfunctioned and we missed too many great shots—we are grateful that Becca’s host brother shared many of his photos with us to share with you.