We finished our semester with a three-day trip to the Scripture Union Retreat Center along the coast south of Lima. This was an opportunity to reunite after six weeks of service, sharing stories, experiences and research results from final projects. The titles of the projects reveal the diversity of experience over the last month and a half:
- Medicinal Plants
- Physical Therapy
- Life of the Chicken and How to Kill a Rooster
- Pishtacos and Other Superstitions
- Traditional Quechua Clothes
- Life of Piurian Women
- The Culture of Food
- Pan of Ayacucho
- Playing Carnival
- Adobe Homes
- San Miguel
- Coastal Food and Culture of Eating
- Popular Brands of Shoes
- Oral Stories of Piura
- Advertising and Brand Awareness
- Ecosystems of the Selva
- The Life/Role of Dogs in Ayacucho
We followed the presentations with a service debriefing for each organization where the students volunteered: What changes in the lives of Peruvians are they trying to make?
On Sunday morning — Palm Sunday — we worshiped within view of hundreds of palm trees, singing favorites from Sing the Journey, reading Psalms and reflecting on our time in Peru.
We finished the students’ last full day in Peru with a talk about re-entering North American culture. Some call it reverse culture shock. Afterward we took a group photo on the beach and boarded the bus for Lima.