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On Friday morning, we left for Kawai, a retreat center two hours south of Lima. We had time to share our stories, reflect on what we have experienced, and to prepare for our return home. Students also presented the interview-based research projects that they completed on service. We heard about migration to Lima from rural areas, a local population’s thoughts on government, how the natural world shapes religious practice, cultural colonization, opinions on climate change, and many other topics. In between the presentations and group sessions, we had plenty of time for playing soccer and volleyball, walking on the beach, playing cards and enjoying our last days together as a group. On Sunday afternoon, we returned to Lima, where we repacked our suitcases yet again, ate pollos a la brasa one last time, and then headed for the airport at 10 p.m. The return flight left Lima at 2:30 a.m., and by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, the group was back in Goshen.
As the Summer 2019 unit ends, we want to thank each of you for following our journey in Perú. And as the 37th and final Perú SST unit, we feel an immense amount of gratitude for all the love, support and education we have received from our Peruvian colleagues, from our wonderful host families and from the many educators and experts who took time to share their knowledge and their country with us over the last 14 years. On behalf of the over 600 students and 24 directors who have been the recipients of your wisdom, hospitality and generosity, we say mil gracias Perú y hasta la próxima.