Jessica Walker

A Community of Service Interim 2010
Stove Installation Project, Urubamba, Peru


The other times I have been out of the country I have struggled with appreciating the culture of the U.S. I end up really hating the bad aspects of the American culture such as the consumerism, the self-centeredness and the extreme drive for wealth. I get so wrapped up in those aspects that I forget the great things about the U.S. ... While in Peru I realized that every culture has good and bad qualities. It made me appreciate the culture I was in and to be a part of it, but to also be thankful for a lot of things that I have as a part of my American culture, to be proud that I’m American and to not try and hide it.

One of the things I admired about Peru was the emphasis and importance of the family. I loved that meals, especially lunch, were huge gatherings. Family members were always stopping by so there was always activity. Everyone in the family helped out with things from cleaning and doing laundry to cooking. When we would go to the park together it was everyone in the family, not just the kids. I also loved that the Incan ruins and other tourist attractions brought people from all over the world together. I’ve never been anywhere in the U.S. where I felt like there was such a diversity of people.