by Shae Williams
Leaving the comfort of my hometown was never easy for me. I would leave as a child moving around areas with family, but would always find my way back to the place I called “home”, Darien Georgia. Darien is a very small town with a population of less than 2000. With small towns comes a lot of cons, but it also comes with a lot of pros. People you call family may really just be neighbors you’ve had all your life, and their love is strong enough to be that of family. Friends you’ve been around since you were toddlers become your sisters/ brothers. Bonds made that will last a lifetime from small town communities.
I never could’ve imagined moving out of the comforts of my hometown much less out of my country. Doing so has been the biggest decision I’ve ever made, but it has been the best. Before leaving my country and family, I couldn’t imagine finding comfort and love with strangers, but I did just that. Coming to Peru I’ve build bonds I will never lose. Met some of the sweetest people and felt some of the most genuine love I’ve ever felt. When I talk to people they may find it weird or harsh that I left everything behind and moved to another country, but the parts they don’t see can only be felt.
Recently, I went home to visit my family and friends that I have missed so dearly. My visit was amazing, but something even more amazing is noticing the differences I’ve made in myself since moving to Peru. My attitude, patience, humbleness, love, gratitude, and anger have completely shifted. We are all dealt cards in life, some are bad and some are good. It’s what you do with them that matters. How you look at and deal with your situations is what defines your future. I have passed through many life circumstances which influenced all of my decisions about my future. Some decisions I’ve made are better than others just like anyone else, but moving to Peru was one of the biggest life changing decisions I’ve made.
People ask me all the time, “How do you go back there knowing you have all this here.” The answer is never easily described, but Peru has changed me in all the best ways and coming home to realize the amazing things it’s done for me was an amazing confirmation to the choice I made. Someone who has recently become a very important person in my life told me. “It is like your heart will forever be in two places at once, and when you are home you will miss Peru, when you are in Peru a piece of you will be home.” I’ve never found a better way to put it than that.
Shae Williams is a 20 year old who has lived in Peru since February, 2022. She spends her days working with Make a Miracle and making a difference in San Juan de Lurigancho.