Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.


March 9th: The High School Student Perspective

Posted in Peru on March 9, 2010

Buenos Tardes!! After a night of the literally-best shopping in-my-life at Largo Mar and a late night, we woke up at 7:00am to get ready for another day at NASSEA School. The bus ride over was a unusually quiet one, everyone was falling asleep and that was the perfect time for bue-meister (Mr. Buemann, Teacher) to take his camera and take unflattering shots of us drooling and sleep deprived teenagers. Once we got there we went straight to work and started painting and getting messy. We had so so much fun getting to know the children but after a few minutes and with the help of a Spanish dictionary we started getting to know each other really well. Brian (a kid from the neighbourhood) and I started having very funny conversations. As I type, we’re finishing up the painting and getting ready for the kids. This trip has been going so well. I’m feeling really good about what we’re doing at this school. I can’t wait to see what we do tomorrow and the day after that. This is the SERIOUSLY-BEST-TRIP-IN-MY-LIFE!!

- Leah !



Oh my goodness! There is so much I could say right now; it’s so crazy! It’s been such an amazing experience already, and we’ve only been here three days! The things you find here are very…different. Driving, first off, consists of no seatbelts, 4 people in a back seat, and no turn signals or traffic lights. Like none. It’s literally chaos. Also the fact that we get stared at wherever we go is a bit weird, but it’s really amusing. There’s something new around every corner, and it’s so surreal to really be here after waiting for this trip for so long. I say on behalf of everyone that we’ve already learned so much about Peru and the people here. The past two days at the school have been such a whirlwind of activity – everyone has been working super hard, and it feels great to be able to contribute to a cause like this. Everyone around us is so positive, and it’s really great to get to be around the kids while we work. We’ve whipped out the dictionary numerous times today to try and communicate with them, and it’s actually really fun! We learn a lot by speaking, and there are a lot of phrases that we’ve picked up on already. Though, I am still not able to decode the conversation Jess, DWC Team Leader, is having on the phone on the couch across from me…lots of ‘hoolio’ and yelling and laughing…muy loco. Haha! Everyone is also getting along really well – definitely a contributing factor to all the fun we’ve been having. So many good times have gone on, and there are some pretty sweet insiders that we’ll be remembering. My abs are so sore from laughing its not even funny. It’s been so amazing though, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the experiences!
‘Jess, this has been like the best trip of any trip in the entire universe of all trips ever taken in my whole entire life. Like ever!’

- Maddy H.



At the risk of sounding cliché and repetitive, I fist want say that this trip is amazing. It’s hard to find the words to describe what you’re seeing and what you’re feeling unless you are actually here, working, learning, and travelling. We learn about Peru: geography (“which is actually very fascinating!” – Mr. B) culture, language and most importantly we learn about ourselves. We came to Peru expecting to help the people here by volunteering in their schools and by bringing donations: which we have done and its’ not hard to tell that what we have done so far is so greatly appreciated. But what I did not realize to such a great extent was how much this trip would help us. I truly believe that in these long three days, all of us have truly grown as people and as members of the international community. Our eyes and our hearts have been opened… as cheesy at that sounds. So what have we learned exactly? Personally, I think that this trip has really clarified for me what I want to do in my life and the direction I’m headed. I know I want to experience more cultures and I know I want to go into a career where I can travel, learn new languages and help people all over the world.

Jess said I should talk about the differences between Canada and Peru… and there are so many its unbelievable, but if there weren’t, this trip would be no where near as interesting. Firstly, obviously the difference in language is huge. A Latin-American phrase book and Spanish-English dictionary is always close by. Mostly, at the school and when we’re around Lima, we speak Spanglish: an odd combination of two different languages cobbled together, and most of the time no one has any idea what anyone else is saying. It’s frustrating, but when you can finally understand what someone is trying to communicate to you, the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment is so overwhelming. Another difference is the driving, as other bloggers before me have mentioned.

When travelling by taxi we split up into three groups of five, meaning there is four of us squished in the backseat of a tiny taxi speeding down highways and little roads going 80 kilometers an hour when the speed limit is only 50.
(if you’re reading this mom, don’t worry we’re quite safe… Peruvians are the best bad drivers you’ll ever come across).

Another difference is food, no where else will you find lime that is so acidic it can actually cook fish. And I’ve eaten an unbelievable amount of potatoes and rice. As for the bathrooms, when we have flush toilets, you can’t put the toilet paper in it or it will clog. And when there aren’t flush toilets, you can find a small hole in the cement the size of the base of a small water bottle. That is an experience I will never forget. Of course there are so many differences I could write about, but for times sake, I’ll just mention a few: architecture, clothing styles, schools, city layout, diversity and the overall culture.


As excited as I am to experience the rest of this trip, I wish I could slow down time and make it last longer!

- Claire

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