A volunteer learns that in working with children, you give and receive in Peru more than you expect.
Each day is similar yet unique. We are in a much different place than we were a week ago. PPA now feels like a second home.
Today we carried various bags of new toys, books, and school supplies to PPA for the children after some weekend shopping. Of our team goals a week ago to help kids, make an impact, improve our Spanish, connect with Peruvians, and have FUN, we agreed we’re making progress!
Mandy and Edith’s paint project intensified. Off they went with their paint rollers and supplies to work with Napoleón painting the first coats of white and melon-green paint on the walls. They paint nonstop for three to four hours displaying an admirable work ethic. Their contribution is very tangible and will be visible and appreciated for many years.
Nancy, Greg, and I go off to give love to “our” children. I do this with lots of hugs, classroom and playground interaction, washing hands, wiping noses, wiping bottoms, assisting with lessons and art projects, cleaning up the classroom, and giving more hugs. This morning I made purple and white crepe paper cutouts and glued them onto strings crisscrossing an empty classroom similar to hanging laundry on a clothes line. These decorations will be used for a kindergarten Peruvian celebration next week. I also enjoyed lots of playground time and went with the children to music class. We wore animal masks and portrayed our animals through dance. We also danced with each other. At night I close my eyes and I see the faces of my nine three-year-old niños – Sasha, Esperanza, Kira, Ricardo, César, Brayan, Leider, Joaoa, and Manuel. Will I ever forget these faces? I don’t think so. Quickly I learn not all, but some ways each child is special -bright, sweet, mischievous. I distinguish their individual talents and strengths on the playground and in the classroom. I want to put Ricardo in my carry-on luggage and take him home. My presence seems to cause chaos in the classroom sometimes. I give love, but get back more in return. Is this really my contribution? How simple yet powerful!
After lunch our team returns for our afternoon projects. Nancy and Greg spend time with their ever-closer family of five children. Mandy spends time with Stephen (age 11) who has no siblings at PPA or family elsewhere. Today I teach English to two different groups of 10 and 11-year-old girls, a change from my teen girls last week. Like my three-year-old niños, both the preteen and teen girls quickly reveal individual qualities – bright, sometimes eager to learn, sometimes not so eager, delightful, challenging. It makes me feel very tuned in to the present moment trying to stay one step ahead of them.
We all agree we give and receive so much love and kindness in Peru!
Entry submitted by: Barbara
Message of the Day: “In our giving of time, energy and money we express ourselves, our consciousness, our life, our values.”