I have officially been a Peace Corps volunteer for just over 2 months now and am starting to feel settled in to my new home. Every day my Spanish gets slightly better, relationships become more apparent, stomach stronger, and the culture more comfortable.
There have been many tough aspects of moving 3,236 miles away from my home in Virginia, but one of my favorite parts of moving has been creating the feeling of home in my new room in my new country.
After swearing in, the Peace Corps gave each of the new volunteers a “Settling-In Allowance” of S/775 (about $230) to buy all of the necessities of setting up our new rooms.
Here is a breakdown of how I have decided to spend my S/775:
- Mattress S/280 or $83
- Water heater for my shower S/ 70 or $20
- Dresser for my clothes S/250 or $74
- Hot water kettle S/ 40 or $12
- 2 Blankets S/ 40 or $12
- Full length mirror S/ 30 or $9
- Carpet S/ 40 or $12
Luckily, my host family provided me with a beautiful bed frame and a couple of tables made by the Don Bosco artisans. I was also able to make a bookshelf out of fruit crates that my host mom was throwing away at her bodega. The best gift I have gotten is a kitten that was found alone in the street in Lima by a host cousin. During the big fiesta in my town, my host cousin came with the kitten and I instantly fell in love with her. My host brothers and I named her Killa (pronounced Kiya), which is Quechua for the moon.
That concludes the tour of my little room in Chacas, Asunción, Ancash, Perú! I’m all settled in and it is quickly becoming home.