On Friday the 4th of august, we arrived at what seemed to be a hostel/church hybrid. We were led to our rooms by an AFS coordinator, who later brought us to breakfast. After a hamburger at the airport of Madrid and a damp breakfast on the airplane, my stomach was ready for some actual food. When we arrived at the breakfast table, there were a bunch of German AFS volunteers already eating. They arrived a day before us and were almost leaving to go to their own host families in Peru, so we didn’t really have a chance to talk to them. A few days later I would find out that a lot of them were staying in Lima as well (just like me).
On the breakfast table there were a couple of strange things. First, there was Inca Kola (I didn’t even know this existed). The next thing that caught my eye was powder milk, which I had never seen either, even though you can probably buy it in Belgium as well. So while I was quite in shock because of these two new things, one of my fellow Belgians tried to ask for eggs to the AFS coordinator. The AFS coordinator didn’t understand the word “egg”, so with my best Spanish I tried to say “Huevos?” … Which she also didn’t understand. This moment was a hard hit on my confidence in my Spanish skills. Luckily we managed to understand each other and eventually we got our first, but certainly not last, Peruvian eggs.
As we were eating, all the German AFS volunteers were getting on the bus. Which means we, the four Belgian students, were all by ourselves again. But the fact that every hour of the day there would be more AFS exchange students arriving, gave us hope – or so we thought.
Now I present you with an overview of our day:
10 a.m. – resting in our room
11 a.m. – explore the property
12 p.m. – playing volleybal with Peruvian nuns (one of the first Spanish words I learned were ‘FUERA!’ and ‘Posiciones!’)
1 p.m. – lunch (what “surprisingly” existed of rice and chicken) and still no AFS students to be seen
2 p.m. – playing cards
3 p.m. – petting dogs
4 p.m. – trying to learn some Spanish
That’s how our day went until 9 p.m., with still not one AFS student having arrived except for us. To say I was a little bit disappointed would be putting it lightly, because I was really looking forward to meeting people from all over the world. But I still had a very fun day. We had our evening meal (to my not-so-surprise it was rice again) and when we were all fast asleep, the other 50 AFS students arrived at the church (some were already in the airport at 4 p.m. and had been waiting for a very long time, poor guys). Among these students there were people from Germany, Thailand, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Hungary,… So the next day would be an interesting day.