Cusco: My Ever-Growing Family

Katie Jacobson is a student at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and an ISA Featured Blogger. Katie is now returning from her Study + Service-Learning program in Cusco, Peru.

In only a few short days, I will be back in the United States after eight and a half weeks of living and participating in service-learning in Cusco, Peru!  I am quite excited to return to the US, but some things will be difficult to leave here in South America. Easily, the thing that will be the most difficult will be leaving my host family.

Naturally, I was quite nervous and yes, even scared, to live with a new family that I did not know at all and who all spoke a different first language than me.  Would I get along with them?  Were we going to be friends?  Was I going to feel included and happy living there?  Would I fit in?  It was one of my biggest preoccupations about studying abroad, regardless where I went in the world.

Well now, fast forward two months to a few days prior to heading back to the United States, and I can’t believe that they’re not coming with me!  My host family has been one of the best things about Peru, hands down.  When I was sick, my host mom took care of me and made me some really yummy soup :)  When I told my host sister that I was really bad at reading things in Spanish out loud, she happily sat each night when we had time to listen to me struggle through “Harry Potter.”  On Sundays, our whole family hops in the car and eats together, and when my host mom is out for a bit, my two and a half year old sister comes to find me and sit on my lap until mom returns.  My host family has been the best that I could ever ask for in the whole wide world, and I can’t believe they won’t be coming with me to the States.

Luckily, I know that we’ll keep in touch. We’ve talked about having my Peruvian family come to visit my Minnesota family sometime soon, and I promised my host mom that I would for sure send her an invitation when I got married!  It’s so nice to know that I am loved here, and I (and my Minnesota family) appreciate it more than they will ever know.  Thank you, host family!!

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