Another one of the changes and a part of our transition into life lived here in Arequipa is forming new traditions. This is somewhat difficult to do especially when it’s the holiday season and you are missing family and special time spent with them each year around this time. Sarah, my wife grew up in Italy and I grew up in the United States and now we live in Peru. There are a lot of traditions, especially holiday traditions, to mix into the pot. We genuinely want to learn and make Peruvian traditions important and meaningful to us, but also not forgetting some of our own important ones from Italy and the US.
We have been here almost a year and this is our first Christmas without family. We will watch the midnight fireworks between Christmas Eve and Christmas as other Peruvians do. Eating panetón (a holiday sweet bread with raisins or chocolate in it), drinking hot chocolate and trying other typical foods will become a part of the holidays. The panetón is actually an Italian tradition as well, so this is nothing new for Sarah and she had already introduced me to it. Somewhere in the mix of all this we will make some new family traditions which might include going to the beach, since it is summer time right now. Our American teammates as well as Peruvians will (and in many ways already have) become our family here in our new home. We are thankful to our teammates who help make this transition just a little bit easier.