Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.


Lima, Peru: Building relationships

Posted in Peru on October 7, 2011

With a few days of volunteering under our belt, our group is getting into the swing of our new routine here in Lima. Although we are not fluent in Spanish, and our hosts are not fluent in English, the relationships between us that have developed in these few short days in noticeable. Yesterday when we arrived on our job site, the kids were preparing to start classes for the day and some of us were already on the roof getting ready to work. One young girl, about nine years old, approach me and asked where Natalie was. I told her she was on the roof, and she ran off to greet her. Another young girl called my name out from the ground below while we were working away - we had introduced ourselves briefly three days earlier and despite all the new names to learn she had remembered me and my name. Throughout the day, the school kids came up onto the roof to take photos with us and say hi. We have come to know many of the kids and their personalities during our time here.

We have also created relationships with the local work crew. On our first full day of work, our foreman, Abdios, used the English-Spanish dictionary to tell Duncan to "surrender" - to stop working because he was not bending the rebar properly. Quickly, the exchange became a joke, and each time one of us struggled or did something improperly, Abdios would yell out "Duncan! Duncan!". It was all in good fun, and the event was the starting point of Duncan and Abdios" friendship during this trip.

This experience has made me realize that difference of language is hardly an obstacle to building relationships and friendships. A funny incident, or an exchange of names, however brief can spark memories that will last so much longer.

Amelia Bowden
DWC Participant
Lima, Peru October 2011

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