I decided to go on this adventure to really test myself to see if I could leave my comfort zone. I wanted to be able to speak with the people there in their own language and be able to form a good friendship with them and most of all really understand how their corner of the world really is. As soon as my Mrs Holmes told me about the opportunity to attend Markham College in Lima, I quickly put my name down.
A few months passed and eventually I was sent an email with the host families email addresses on it, I sent them all an email talking about how excited I was and if I needed to bring anything and was alarmed by how quickly they responded. They gave me a huge list of things that they wanted to show me there. I was amazed by how kind they were, letting a complete stranger into their house and showing them everything. The host mother Mercedes agreed to meet me in the airport on a Friday at around 9:00. I was very nervous getting on the plane as I knew that I was going to a foreign country on the other side of the world, meeting people that I had never met before and living with them for a month.
I had never stayed so long away from home but after a few days there with the host family I soon got used to it.
Just the fact that I had traveled so far made me feel more confident about travelling distances and I realised that Europe is not everything and that there are other places that are equally beautiful and sometimes even better. My host family took me to many museums like The Gold Museum and Larco Museum, a museum which contains relics from the Inca time. We also visited the ruins of Pachacamac. One of the best things we did was visit the sand dunes of Ica and slide down them.
At first I was quite nervous around everybody and I admit that at first it was hard to form a bond with people my age. I was also quite overwhelmed with the size of the host family. There were people in the family who all had the name George so they all joked about me being another George in the family. The family really helped me to overcome the social problems that I had. I now feel a lot more comfortable around people I am not familiar with.
One of the best things that this experience has given to me is the ability to be able to more easily speak Spanish than before as at home I was using it a whole lot more than English. If my Dad wanted to speak with Mercedes by FaceTime I would have to be the interpreter. It made me appreciate the skill a lot more.
Overall I think that the experience has changed me as a person. I feel like I know the world better than before and can understand it better. I have made friendships that still last up to this day and hope to be able to one day go back and see all of the friends I made there.