After spending a full day visiting with friends, dropping by the homes of their Lima host families and shopping, Goshen College students spent the night at Miraflores House, a hostel. The students – who had taken overnight buses from their service assignments – said they had a wonderful night of sleep in comfortable beds and especially enjoyed hot showers, in some cases for the first time in six weeks. They next morning, after a hearty breakfast of tamales, they made their way to the Anglican Cathedral of the Good Shepherd (Buen Pastor) for some final academic work.
First up: a quiz on the books they read during service. All did well despite, in some cases, struggling to remember key points of books they had read weeks earlier. Next, students took an oral Spanish oral examination with Bivi Goto and Moises Arce, two long-time teachers for the Peru SST program. To demonstrate their improvement in the past six weeks, students were asked to talk about their service experiences and their plans after returning to Goshen. Bivi and Moises said all of the students showed considerable improvement in their Spanish-speaking skills.
After the examinations, students left in small groups or pairs for their final almuerzo (lunch) in Lima. For some students, lunch was an opportunity to revisit favorite restaurants and now-familiar dishes. Other students tried new restaurants and food. A few took a few minutes to make final store purchases.
When they returned to the church, students gathered their belongings and boarded a bus. Our destination: a Christian retreat center called Kawai, located on the beach about a 90-minute drive south of Lima, for two days of reflection, recreation and rest. The mood: happy and relaxed.