GROW Post One: Arrival in Peru

By Humma Sheikh
Greetings from the University of Rochester GROW 2013 team! We are very happy to say that we have all arrived safely (with the exception of Rhett, who will be traveling here towards the end of July) and are rested and ready to go. We are so excited to work with Kallpa and the youth in Pampachica. 
We all feel very grateful to finally be here. I feel that we are doing well adjusting to our new home, facing any differences or challenges with an open mind and a strong desire to learn. Even though I was aware that Iquitos has a hot, humid climate, I felt surprised by the difference between the chills I felt in Lima’s airport two nights ago, and the sticky heat I felt after getting off the plane in Iquitos. Mototaxis - which kind of remind me of Rikshas - and motorbikes are more commonly used than cars, and people are always outside. We live in a house with students and interns that are working for other NGO’s, and all of them are super friendly. Everything was so surreal. For the longest time, I couldn’t comprehend that I was actually in Peru, until just hours ago when Manuel gave us instructions on how to be safe in the streets and make sure we aren’t being ripped off by mototaxis.  
Walking out of Iquitos’ airport, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing GROW team, and to work in Iquitos with such kind and deserving people. I know this is only the beginning of a beautiful journey for all of us. Here’s to the beginning of a wonderful experience!

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