After an intensive 4-week study abroad program, sources report LSA sophomore Henry Kincaid has repeatedly declared throughout the semester that Ayacucho, Peru is his hometown despite being born and raised in West Bloomfield.
Friends and classmates were at first perplexed at Kincaid’s sudden and intense identification with Peruvian culture.
“At the beginning of the year, I saw this kid I thought I recognized from high school,” said classmate Elyse Sanderson. “I asked if he was from West Bloomfield, and he just rolled his eyes and said ‘I lived there for a little while, but that’s not where I’m from.’”
Kincaid’s peers have also reported a drastic increase in him sighing, followed by “you wouldn’t get it, it’s a Peruvian thing.”
Although Kincaid reportedly recognizes that some may disdain his newfound cultural identity, he maintains that “my true friends will know that in my heart, yo es Peruviano,” Kincaid said. “By the way, that’s Spanish for ‘I’m from Peru.’”
The transition back to American culture has proved to be difficult for Kincaid.
“I’ll admit, I’m still suffering from a bit of culture shock from my return,” Kincaid said. “It’s so weird seeing all these people wearing ‘Go Blue’ T-shirts and Nikes instead of polieras and ajotas. And this American food in the Mojo dining hall seems so rich to me now, it’s like Jesus, stop deep-frying everything for once and learn how to make a simple escabeche.”
To cope with the homesickness he has encountered, Kincaid has joined the Peruvian- American club.
“I feel so supported there. We can all get together and talk about our mother country. It’s difficult to explain the connection I feel with Peru… I know how I would say it in the native Peruvian language Quechua, but it’s hard to find the right words in English,” Kincaid said.
At press time, Kincaid had changed his hometown on Facebook to Ayacucho, Peru while drinking a traditional cup of fair trade mate tea and listening to a Peruvian flute band CD.
Originally published: Oct 2013