Ahhhh, the final hours were upon us. We got off the bus and found ourselves, once again, in Lima. It felt like I had just taken a long nap rather than starting a new day. It was our final day together, and we were going to spend it the only way we knew how, just chillin. We took a taxi back to Miraflores and went to the bagel place. I had the infamous salami bagel with a side of mango juice (sooooo good), followed by a quick shower in the bathroom. Not a real shower, mostly brushing my teeth, washing my face, changing clothes…it’s fine, I promise!

Then we went back to the cat less Kennedy Park. Once again, we ran into more Peace Corps Volunteers, and they being no strangers to bumming around cities, tagged along. With no money, no hostel, and so much time, we just hung out in the park. Eventually we left. I was determined to get a pedicure — believe me, these toes needed some serious help– and found a spa spot. In Lima, this is not a hard thing to do. The look on the ladies face when she looked at my feet was priceless. I have never been more ashamed. I just kept looking at the ceiling and prayed for a miracle. After 30 minutes, I looked back down at my feet, and they were fresh and new. I thanked her profusely and got out of there. “But Rakia, I thought you said you had no money?” Oh, well I didn’t, but I had some pocket change left over, and that pedicure was a whopping…. $10. (I know. My jaw dropped too).

Kurstin and I slowly walked to a friends place nearby and sat back to reflect on the good times we shared these past 2 weeks. We were joined by a couple of other friends and ate some snacks, chatting about the New Year.

I eventually looked at the time and realized I had to get to the airport. We used Easy Taxi (basically an Uber for taxis) to take me back. Kurstin and I shared a long hug and some jokes before we waved to each other as I got in the cab. I wasn’t sad at all. I knew we’d be traveling again together soon.

As the cab drove away, I was just thinking how it was just so cool that we got this time to share and I got to experience a little bit of Kurstin’s life in Perú. We sped past different neighborhoods, colored buildings, children running in the street, and ladies selling mangos. The sun was slowly beginning to set, as if it knew I was on my way home. Just ten minutes from the airport, we approached the dreaded roundabout that startled me just weeks earlier. I was still amazed at how this giant cluster of cars had any rules at all. Just to give you a visual, it was as if you had a bucket of hot wheels and dumped them out on the carpet. That is what the driving situation looks like throughout Peru. And yet, my hands were sitting in my lap calm and dry, unlike my first trip when they were gripped on the door and sweaty. I closed my eyes and smiled, because somehow, I had gotten used to it.

When my taxi driver finally arrived to the “airport –name”, he wished me a “buen viaje” or good trip. I thanked him and walked through the doors that took my to international departures. As I boarded the plan and took my seat, I couldn’t believe I was already on my way back to New York. Travel has a funny way of speeding by. I reclined my seat and felt a realization coming on. I wasn’t meant for the 9-5 life.  I’ll let you know if I come up with a plan on how to get out of that one, until then, I can’t wait for the next adventure……

 

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