« Back to Yak Board Archive Site

Who Am I in Bolivia? (CIDL)

When we walked up Achumani pass, we were given the option to carry a rock to the top as a metaphor for a burden that we had carried on our journey thus far.  When we got the top, we could give our burden to Achumani and continue our journey to the otherside of the mountain, another space, another dimention.  On that hike up, I wasn´t entirely sure what parts of myself I would leave settled on her strong rocky shoulders.  I didn´t want to leave my family, who I miss a lot, on top of Achumani, but I had to leave my understanding of what family is in order to fully embrace my homestay in Kaata and eventually in Cochabamba.  There would be new dynamics and new cultures within these families, and I wanted to fully embrace them.  I am a daughter, but in Bolivia I would have to become a new kind of daughter in new families.  I also left my friends behind on Achumani because in this place it is a time for new friends and not a time for missing and reminscing on old times with old friends.  In a sense, I left my old home on Achumani´s shoulders so that, for my time here in Bolivia, I can create a new home without creating judgements based on what I know from my life in the United States. This isn´t to say that home is a burden; I love home, but I need to leave it behind while I´m here.

So, who am I in Bolivia?  I don´t know yet, but I do know that I am ready.  I am ready to be a friend, a teacher, a student, a sister, and a stranger all over again and in a new way.