It’s hard to believe that’s it’s been 5 years since I left Huanchaco, Peru and the amazing friends I made there.
I am leaving you, and although I am a little bummed, I am not entirely sad about it. We’ve been together for a while now–three whole months and part of another. That’s the longest I have stayed with anyone (other than Campeche–but you don’t need to know about him). You were good to me. You introduced me to so many cool people from all parts of the world. You have given me opportunities that I don’t know I would have gotten anywhere else such as establishing a clinic and helping to organize an art exhibition. As a memento of my visit, I am leaving you a clinic. I have no illusions that it will actually survive when I am gone although I do hope the printed material and posters will at least hang around a bit.
You allowed me to stay in an awesome apartment with an amazing roommate (Hey, Emily) and cool vecinos (Hola, Cameron and Corinna). I learned about supply and demand of hot water in the desert and learned to love life with out electronics or ice. [The ice part wasn’t too hard, and I learned how to rig up a system for music] But everyone you have introduced me to has already gone, too. Don’t worry. You’ll soon be full of Peruvian vacationers and party-surfer-dudes from all over the world. Summer is coming and that’s your time to shine.
Huanchaco, we had some good times like dancing at the BeachHouse, bonfires on the beach, hanging out in the apartment, parties celebrating Halloween and Thanksgiving in the apartment with 30 or so people, clubbing at AMA, watching real ‘football’ in Trujillo, but there will be some things I am glad to leave behind.
Like how you think I am stupid because I am a white girl. I know it is only 1.20 soles to the mall (and sometime only 1 sol) , not the 1.50 you ask for every single time. Or how you think I will just hand over money because it’s a “fee”. Come on, I have been here too long for that. Another thing I won’t miss is how you think that just because I am walking, I am looking for a taxi [beep… beep]. I won’t miss how you stop in front of me or your insane sirens, but what I will miss is how close you are to the ocean (I have never lived a block and a half from the beach before), that you are probably the safest town in Peru, how I can walk back to the apartment at 2 or 3 in the morning and not feel threatened at all… In that way you remind me of Due West, and that I will miss. There is a big wide world out there, and I need to explore it. So adios, Huanchaco, I am headed to south.