Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Lima, Peru: Lessons learned

Posted in Peru on June 3, 2011

With only 2 more days left in our volunteer project, we had another busy workday. The kitchen is now complete and yesterday a new eco-friendly gas stove was brought to the school, courtesy of the local municipality. The exterior and interior has been painted and 3 out of 4 doors have been installed. In 4 short weeks, our team has constructed a building, which in my opinion looked impossible at first given the environment we were in. San Jose Obereo is located in the poverty struck mountain region of Villa Maria and our building has been constructed on a cliff overlooking the school.
We have all worked to the best of our abilities on this project and along with the construction we have bonded with the children and created relationships that will never be forgotten. The children make us feel very welcome and their presence has made this experience unforgettable. To witness first hand the extreme poverty that these children and their families live in has really impacted me and made me become much more appreciative of life. Before coming to Villa Maria I had no idea what to expect. The children are full of so much happiness and joy yet they work ever so hard inside and outside of school to live the life they live. My passion for soccer was a huge reason for my interaction with the children. Everyday at least once I would make my way to the school basketball/soccer court and play with the Niño’s and Niñas even if it was only for 20 minutes. They love soccer and for me to play with them, teach them tricks, and share my love for the game was amazing. I remember telling my team leader, Leah, that this was exactly what I wanted to do when I arrived in Peru. Play with children, make them smile and realize that even though it may seem like the 9 of us are strangers from an unknown world, we at one point in our lives were kids just like them.
Mahatma Gandhi once wrote “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” In my 4 weeks at Villa Maria, not only have I learned many life lessons, but have found myself in a way that I never could have imagined. To be able to help the members of this community has been an experience, lesson and a pleasure. The relationships and memories that have been created will remain in my heart forever.

Ryan Aujla
DWC Student Volunteer

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