I was so anxious flying to Peru, I didn’t know what to expect but I knew to keep an open mind. The first 24 hours were the most eye opening that I have experienced yet. I learned that lane lines are just a suggestion when it comes to driving as well as Peruvians have worse road rage than myself. Aside from the transportation terrifying me, I have had nothing but an amazing experience thus far. Every person I have met has welcomed me with open arms, and is nothing but kind.

I am working at The Santa Fe Center which provides education for children with disabilities. The mental and physical disabilities range as well as the age of the children at the school. The purpose of the school is to teach the kids how to perform daily tasks such as brushing their teeth, peeling potatoes as well as many other things. At first I was nervous to see how the children would interact with me and how they would welcome me into the school. The first day we took the children to the YMCA to teach them how to swim. I didn’t know I was going to swim with them until the day before, so I had no time to mentally prepare to swim in the middle of winter. My first day went well and all the children are nothing but kind and loving. Over the last few days I have started building relationships with the children and the days have gotten more rewarding.

Yesterday, a few other volunteers and I ventured out to visit the island of Ballestas and the sand dunes of Ica. We saw many sea lions, birds, penguins, and did a 2-hour boat tour of the island. After the boat tour we drove an hour south to sand surf and ride an ATV on the sand dunes. After being sun burnt to a crisp we headed home to plan the next week. The entire experience so far has been phenomenal, and I can’t wait to see what next week has in store for me.

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