Weekend Patterns

I have a love/hate relationship with my weekends in Lima.

I love them because for two full days I don't have to listen to twenty three children simultaneously yelling: "Miss! I need a pencil! How do you write cousin? Martin just said stupid!" A weekend is two days when I can feel like an adult and don't have to spend my day babysitting Lego Ninjas. I can read and cook and watch an obscene number of episodes of Friday Night Lights.

But, my Peruvian weekends are monotonous and predictable. I have fallen into a pattern of doing the same things, seeing the same people and going to the same places. Sometimes I want to do something new, adventurous and Peruvian, but it usually doesn't get very far.

When I studied in Germany, I felt invincible. There's really no other word for it. If I had a day to myself, I spent time reading in the park, or eating a sandwich by the river or taking a tram to some as-of-yet-unexplored part of Dresden. I reveled in my freedom and basked in my alone time. I was able to do a fair bit of traveling, most of which I did by myself. Embarking on long train rides, waiting in airports and making friends with my hostel roommates. Being alone was refreshing.

I am experiencing the complete opposite in Lima. About two weeks after I arrived in Lima, I walked by myself for the first time. I distinctly remember thinking, "There is not a single person in the whole world who knows where I am right now." It felt like a very small girl in a big, scary city. Never before had I felt such vulnerability.

My common sense is sending me contradictory messages.
1. You are over exaggerating all your fears.
2. For one thousand different reasons, Peru is not Germany.

I think there is truth in both of those statements and now my challenge is to find the middle. I might not be traveling alone or eating lunch by the river, but that doesn't mean I have to get stuck in a pattern simply because things are different. Peru isn't Germany and it's not the United States. So my life here will look different. I need to give myself a little push, just a nudge, and step a tad bit more out of my comfort zone.