During their concluding retreat, Goshen College students in the Peru Study-Service-Term summer program reflected on the past three months. They discussed the highlights and challenges of service, presented their final academic projects and pondered what it might be like to return to the United States. They also played, enjoyed each other’s company and rested.
Our gathering was held at a Christian retreat center called Kawai, which is located on the beach about a 90-minute drive south of Lima. Facilities at Kawai consist of a large collection of spacious buildings amid well-landscaped grounds, just a few hundred yards from the Pacific Ocean. It has wide lawns, palm trees, a nice swimming pool and a broad beach, perfect for long walks and contemplation.
Goshen students enjoyed strolling on the beach, gazing at the Pacific Ocean and observing a wide range of birds. The persistent cloud cover and cool temperatures of the South American winter did not deter students from visiting the beach and splashing in the ocean. The beach also was the site of a bonfire, which including roasting marshmallows and making S’mores.
On the final afternoon of the retreat, students paid one last visit to the beach. Some students took long walks; two climbed a nearby bluff; and some just gazed at the waves. It was a great way to say goodbye to Peru and prepare for the long journey back to the United States.
The attached photo gallery provides glimpses of the beauty of the beach at Kawai and what students did to relax during the retreat.