Dispatch from a world away:

While I honestly don’t remember much about it, I somehow ended up in Newark, N.J. last Sunday morning. Well, with help from my mom. I came home with an unwanted souvenir – asthma and some sort of allergic reaction. So please take this as a precautionary tale.

While we can never predict how our bodies will react to new situations, we can still do some research. I obviously did not do my homework.

Peru has a large percentage of respiratory problems. I never had asthma before. In October I went to the emergency room twice in two days and I was warned that the third time would not be as much fun.

The doctors also told me that I would not be allowed into a higher elevation because I am short of breath, so I could forget about Macchu Piccu.

Honestly, that’s when I realized I needed to go home. I’ve never felt so weak before. Stairs became an issue because I couldn’t breathe.

I was kidding myself though, because I felt ill since mid-August and just told myself that it would go away, but I let it get worse.

When you are sick, all you can think about is being sick and even small tasks are difficult.

So Ariel (Delaney) took good care of me, but it wasn’t fair for her or my host family to have to deal with the sick kid all of the time.

I really miss Peru and all of the people I met there, but I did go home with a few adventures and some interesting stories.

Ariel sticking it out solo

Like the daily tremors that shake Lima, I too have been shaken a bit.

We knew that coming to a different place would be very hard, especially to Lima. Even through all of this we have had each other too lean on, especially since most of our jokes don’t make sense to people here.

Well things have changed a bit. Last week Kristina left Peru. Even before the semester started, she was not feeling well, but just like the strong, adventurous person she is, she still came here.

Through the contamination here, which is horrible, things just got to a point where we knew there was only one option – for her to return home.

So last week I said goodbye to my best friend so she could get better. It was really hard as anyone can imagine. I am alone now, and school is very different without Kristina.

When I missed a word, she picked it up and vice versa. It got to the point where we were finishing each others sentences. I have no excuse to speak poor Spanish now because I spoke lots of English with Kristina and often blurted out spanglish (a mix of the two).

Even though she is gone, all I can do is pray that she gets better while I finish what we started here.

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