My sweet cleaning lady left me fresh coffee from Chanchamayo, a town in the highlands known for their coffee, so I've been sipping my coffee, browsing the web and trying to stay warm. I stumbled across this article about a Mexican-American athlete, competing for the US, who waved both flags after winning second in the 1,500m race.

After just two years in Peru, I feel as if my American identity has been molded and changed. I have a greater pride for my country than I did before moving here. Before I never paid much attention to the things that make the United States, the United States. I saw everything as a mix of cultures, a melting pot, an identity crisis that left me without a clear understanding of what it means to be "American". Two years removed from the country has shown me that the mix of cultures, the melting pot and the identity crisis are "American". But so are long summer nights, cool fall days, football season, local festivals, diners, lakes, mountains, an evening bar-b-que, Christmas lights and country roads. These are the things that I miss about the United States, things that I took for granted because they were simply there. But here, we don't have fall nor football season. I miss the mountains and bar-b-que, I yearn for a long country road shaded by overgrown trees. 

When I go back to the States, I'm going to take a little bit of Peru with me. I do not have dual citizenship, but one day I most likely will hold citizenship in two countries. Will that make me Peruvian? Maybe a little, but not exactly. I will never be Peruvian like Alvaro is Peruvian, and he will never be American like I am American. There are cultural differences that are so deeply rooted that even years of living abroad and dual citizenships can not change. Neither of us would want those to change. We both take pride in where we come from but also find some of our identity in our adopted countries. To be called American isn't enough, nor to be called Peruvian. Instead we might one day identity ourselves as Peruvian-American and American-Peruvian.

My identity is negotiable, it is formed by the places I have lived and the place where I live now. It is formed by culture, language and tradition. For me my identity has become more fluid in the blending of two cultures, two languages and two traditions. As I venture further into this multicultural life, I hope to better understand the things that mold me- let them be American, Peruvian or something in between. Just let them be me.