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After spending an afternoon and evening visiting with their Lima host families, shopping and relaxing with friends, Goshen College students spent the night at the Cirque Hostel in the Miraflores district of Lima, a short walk from Casa Goshen. 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 warm showers, in some cases for the first time in six weeks. They next morning, on Friday, July 25, they walked to the Anglican Cathedral of the Good Shepherd (Buen Pastor) for some final academic work.
The students took a quiz on the books they read during service and met individually with their Spanish instructors, Moises Arce, Ana Bracamonte and Gretty Garcia, for oral interviews. To demonstrate their improvement in the past six weeks, students were asked to talk about their service experiences, including likes and dislikes, and their plans after returning to Goshen. Ana Bracamonte, Gretty Garcia and Moises Arce, the teachers, said all of the students improved in their Spanish-speaking skills.
After the examinations, students left in small groups for their final almuerzo (lunch) in Lima. For some students, lunch was an opportunity to revisit favorite restaurants and now-familiar dishes. Some took a few minutes to make final store purchases. They also had a final chance to experience the sights and sounds of Lima. In some cases, students who had become accustomed to small and quiet service locations in warmer climates were challenged by Lima’s cool and overcast weather and the intense traffic.
When they returned to the church, students gathered their belongings and boarded a bus. Our afternoon 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, relaxed and still a bit tired from the long bus trips.