So yo girl Lay-lay's on a roll today...
My intention with this is not to throw shade at my last host family, not at all. I just want to reach out to all of you guys and remind you that if you feel uncomfortable about something (or, lord forbid, unsafe), you really should speak up. I'm not sure I ever really addressed the fact that I bathed in freezing water for 5 months while living with my host family- part of which was deep winter, but I was afraid of making other people feel uncomfortable, and so I willingly sacrificed my own comfort.
In Peru, at least I eventually figured out how to make the shower work! I went out a few weeks ago with the intention to meet up with a friend from a different program whose time had ended at the orphanage. He sent me all the information I needed to know, including a screenshot of a map to the bar we were going to meet at. Now, I don't drink, but I was really hoping that the night could be fun, even for a non- drinker like myself. Unfortunately, this particular Saturday night was not destined to be particularly lucky for me. As it turned out, in order to get to the bar, you needed to walk down one of the most dangerous (possibly THE most dangerous) street near the Plaza de Armas. Within two steps, I had witnessed a drug deal and could smell something stronger than marijuana (probably, cause what do I know?). I made it about halfway down the crowded, sketchy, and dark street, before someone stopped me. this someone (who I'm almost certain was there looking for Xanax) spotted me, and kindly escorted me back from whence I had come. This might sound like not much of a big deal or even a bit rude, but this random stranger from New York (who immediately told me that he was gay and here for a meditation conference) was genuinely worried about my safety. He even tried to think of anon- creepy way to check in and make sure I got back safely to the apartment. (which turned out to be unnecessary, since I ran into his weird hand- gesturing self at Starbucks the next day).
Walking back from the failed excursion, I got catcalled by some man in a taxi, who followed me for a block and asked if I was a prostitute. The next morning, I reached out for some sort of comfort from my host mother and did not really get the reaction I had been hoping for. The point I am trying to make here is that we are different kinds of people and there is nothing wrong with that. She is not my mother, and has no true obligation to coddle me.
Just to be clear: no one did anything wrong in this situation. I can just already tell that my new host family is a better fit for me:)
Love you guys so much
Everyday Acts of Activism