At the end of our study time in Lima we throw a going-away party called the despedida. In preparation for this event, each student designed a thank you card for their host family using water colors or colored pencils. They practiced their speeches, skits and songs. They ate seven entire pollos a la brasa (rotisserie chickens). And they spent one last afternoon practicing a play with their Spanish instructors — Ollantay is a love story that takes place in the sacred valley during the time of the Incas.
By the time seven o’clock rolled around, we were ready to go. Each host family was invited to sit at a table and play Uno or Dutch Blitz with their student as we waited for the rest of the guests to arrive. We served sandwiches and fresh fruit. Then the show began.
The directors opened with a welcome to all, a special thank you to the new host families and a slide show featuring highlights from six weeks of study: our adventure in the Andes and our discoveries in Lima. The students, all 23 of them, performed Ollantay with energy and enthusiasm. Love stories can be funny.
Each student presented a thank you card to his or her family. Then came more entertainment — a skit about an American student taking his first bus ride during Lima’s rush hour, live renditions of “Imagine” and “Over the Rainbow” and a baseball skit featuring “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
What a fun and entertaining way to bring our time in Lima to a close!