Friday, June 21, 2013

Our closing days in Peru

As we move into the closing days of our two-week commitment at La Molina, our classes are going very well.  Paulette continues to challenge her professor students with stimulating topics such as mandatory military service for young Peruvians and solutions to world hunger. Their discussions are lively, to say the least! Irene is presenting her students with conversation activities that require creative thinking and advanced speaking skills. They have been very successful in meeting these higher expectations.

We have been fortunate to experience several extracurricular activities. Edith took us to the Entomology Department where we learned about La Molina’s research into the effectiveness of bee stings in reducing the pain of arthritis. Early findings are very positive according to the entomologist who answered our many questions and showed us the beehives. Also, we happened to meet one of Irene’s students who is a graduate student in Entomology and he invited us into the department’s museum where we viewed an array of insects, spiders, and butterflies.

Another interesting extracurricular experience was a campus tour.  Our knowledgeable student guide toured us past classroom and laboratory buildings, the student center, fields of ornamental plants and flowers, and the Centro de Ventas where college staff and faculty and the community-at-large can buy plants, fresh produce, meat, and milk products that are grown or manufactured at La Molina.

Entry submitted by: Irene Dombeck

Message of the Day: “Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself one question:  ‘Does this path have a heart?’”  - Carlos astaneda in The Teachings of  Don Juan:  A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

Why Volunteering Matters in Lima, Peru

Interview with Giovanna Luna Victoria, Director of Puericultorio A. Perez Aranibar (PPA)

Q: What is your opinion of Global Volunteers' work at the PPA?
First of all, I would like to thank Global Volunteers for helping us greatly since 2004. We have a totally vulnerable population and I have seen a lot of social sensibility from each volunteer that comes through Global Volunteers. If we didn’t have the support from institutions such us Global Volunteers, I think we couldn’t do management. I have 209 residents (kids) now who have special education needs. Currently, we have 34% of kids who are kids in social risk and who has been apart from their environment and family. Those kids are very demanding and they need special attention, support, treatment and education and because of that we are working on improving and developing the quality of services and attention. Thanks to Global Volunteers, we have now a remodeled dining room and the kids could be able to see each volunteer working on it.

Because of the kids’ situation, it is important for each of them to see and share  with volunteers. It has a lot of meaning for each kid to share with a volunteer… it is a feeling… it is more important than a donation given. It is important to see that each volunteer that comes to PPA, comes with a lot of disposition to do things and with a lot of love and dedication like Global Volunteers because each day volunteers and I have interviewed many kids from Miguel Echenique Home,  they told me that everyday they have seen volunteers working and sharing moments, conversations and time. It is not only a donation, it is more than that… it is a life lesson that they will remember and keep in their minds and it is great to know that they will have these memories instead of other memories from their families because if they have memories from their families, they are not great and in many cases they are the worst they can have because of the difficulties they lived with them.

Each word and action from every volunteer counts for our children… it is not only to bring something and give them, but instead of that, to share their energy, effort and time is very important and those moments are the ones that develop human beings and make them happy, and we are commitment to make it happen.

I have seen all the support that Global Volunteers has given us, and that is why I would like to invite many more volunteers to visit us. We have 0 to 18 years old kids who are eager to get love, words, hugs… not everything is about money… volunteers are welcome to come to help and give their effort and time because it is what the kids really appreciate and value… a phrase, a word in the right moment is all they need and they will remember it.
 am thankful to Global Volunteers and not only me but all the authorities of the Beneficencia de Lima who recognizes and thanks all the support that you have been giving us.

Q: Which are three characteristics that our volunteers have?

First of all, I would say transparency, motivation and sensibility…. They are very sensible to the lack of love and affection that our kids have…. Volunteers come very motivated to work. Volunteers show transparency (sincerity) because in their smiles, their eyes and every word they may say, they come from the bottom of their heart. I think they are values that if we all have them, our Peru would be different.

Q: What do you want volunteers to know?                                                                               

First, I would give every volunteer a big hug… a fraternal hug behalf this institution and each kid at PPA… I would tell volunteers to come back and join us!... I would invite him or her to be part of us taking the help voice from PPA everywhere.

Q: What is special about serving as a volunteer at PPA?

Because we have 209 little open arms… 209 kids who need a fraternal hug, who need love words and who need much help from volunteers like the ones who has been coming through Global Volunteers.

An Interview with Peru Country Manager Edith Rodriguez Preciado

What is your perspective on the Global Volunteers organization in Ecuador?
We give what it is needed: lots of love and attention to the kids, support to the staff and improvement in my ways the life quality of the kids. Global Volunteers helps in many ways and mainly volunteers bring the outside world to the kids who are eager to learn and ready to receive and give!

How is it different from other volunteering opportunities?
Through all these years at the Puericultorio A. Perez Aranibar (PPA) for instance , Global Volunteers has become well -known by the kids and staff because our volunteers want to serve genuinely. We're there to help and we will do what we are asked to do like mop the floor; to teach cooking to the kids. We do what they tell us to do and that is why we always be where we are needed.

How can volunteers make a significant impact on community projects?
Volunteers can change ways to think about foreigners. Most of the time people think that foreigners want to see and take pictures like tourists but when they meet volunteers and they notice that they want to help and they can be asked to do dishes for them, people change their way to see foreigners... There is a clear difference between a volunteer and a tourist. Also, volunteers' goals are to serve and that is why they offer quality f time to the people around. As PPA's psychologist said: " I prefer that our kids work with volunteers in physical exercises or development exercises because they're patient and loving -  that they dedicate their time to the kids is unique and appreciated".

What do you like volunteers to know about your community before they arrive?
I like volunteers to know and be aware that the kids at PPA deserve the best that they can offer. PPA is a special place where there are suffered abandoned, at-risk and unwanted kids... we have the difficult but it is an honor to be part of the love chain that will bring hope, smiles and the message that someone cares about them. 

Puericultorio A. Perez Aranibar has been the largest children's place in South America for many years. PPA is like a little neighborhood where volunteers help in different activities. Being a neighborhood, volunteers participated in celebrations like Christmas.Volunteers usually say they have gotten more than they have given. I think the experience is different from their daily life.

How does this service opportunity expand volunteers’ perspective of the world?
Definitely, volunteers are not in their comfort zone and many volunteers can adapt and understand that they can make the day for someone else. I always tell volunteers that PPA is the best place where they can understand that their presence is so important and it can make the difference.

What are your reflections as we prepare to note Global Volunteers' 30th anniversary in January?
Global Volunteers has done a lot for kids, children's homes, school and communities and there is a lot more that can be done and I think that is why these 30th years are just part of the many years that Global Volunteers will be. Global Volunteers will be where people need help, support, hope and love and this is only possible because of the great volunteers who are leaving their mark of love in the world. The service programs are not about bachelor degrees but instead of applying all our knowledge in helping, not always about donating things but instead giving them a better quality of life, and it is not only about teaching but instead learning from and being open-minded about the culture.

 Global Volunteers has accomplished many goals and has many other ones to do so, but we are not few volunteers, we are now many more who will be eager and ready to serve others.

Thanks to Global Volunteers, I have seen how a room full of pieces of furniture became a beautiful and modern library, how a sad and shy kid became an easygoing and smiley kid... and for sure, Global Volunteers has changed, improved and developed in many ways, communities and most important-- in many minds and hearts.
Thank you to all for what you do.  Please return again and again.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Eating fresh yogurt in Peru

Tuesday traffic to and from Molina was much heavier.  Edith showed signs of being a budding cinema-tographer as she videotaped the traffic of a Peruvian roundabout for Paulette's Facebook and for the entertainment of Paulette's daughter- and son-in-law back in the States. The consensus was that a great video game could be designed based on driving in Peru.

Another highlight of the day was a trip to purchase La Molina's famous homemade, fresh yogurt. All three of the musketeers purchased Yogurt Fresa and it was delicious!!! The afternoon brought all two of Paulette's professors back plus an interesting new addition who loves to play the accordion.  Irene's students rearranged themselves in her two afternoon classes and continued to work hard on their conversational skills. Paulette joined them for the second hour as they integrated her new Monday student seamlessly in Irene's group.

Dinner for two was at Mavery and then it was an early night for Edith and her crew!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The team takes on a new look

On Monday Team 159 took on a new look as Jim and Carter had left Peru on Saturday morning. So we were two volunteers, Irene and Paulette, plus our fearless leader, Edith.  Edith started the morning as always cheerful and helpful with morning housekeeping details. She also gave a brief history on the growth of Lima from 645,000 in 1940 to 4.6 million in 1981 and 10 million today. Much of that growth came from the migration of people from other regions of Peru looking for a better life and work in Lima, much like the migration from the south to the north in the U.S.   

All three ladies took off with Andrés for the rather quick and uneventful ride to La Molina on a Monday.  Paulette continued her first session with the three professors from last week. They are eager and fast learners.  In her second session, there was one new student. Irene continued as well with nine students returning from last week. Dinner was at a lovely restaurant/bakery followed by Paulette's favorite dessert - chocolate ice cream - even though the weather was quite chilly.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My favorite day so far in Peru

Thursday began with the usual breakfast at the Hostel Torreblanca followed by another group talk by Edith about Peru, what we will do today, and what we did yesterday. After this, Edith took my father and me to PPA, while Irene and Paulette made their way to La Molina. In La Molina, things seemed to go the same as the way they did on Wednesday and everyone seemed to have an enjoyable day. Paulette finally became well enough to eat the ice cream that she wasn’t able to have the day before and seemed very happy to finally be able to try some creamy Peruvian ice cream. At PPA, my father continued with his labor project working with Edith while I continued to have an especially enjoyable day with the babies in Niño Jesús. The second part of our day was much different than usual. We took our three siblings - Walter, Harold, and César - out to lunch at La Comer and gave them a traditional American birthday party. The kids seemed taken aback at all the mall had to offer, including an arcade they played in and escalators they rode. The day with the three siblings came to an end when we gave them all their presents and they went back happily and content to PPA. A wonderful day ended with a tasty dinner with Paulette, my father, and me at the Super Rueda; Irene decided to stay back. This day was by far my favorite day and also the most fulfilling day I have ever spent volunteering in Peru.

Message of the Day: “The highest of distinctions is service to others.” - King George IV (1762-1830), King Of Great Britain, Ireland, and Hanover

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A very successful and fulfilling day

As the week went on into Wednesday and Thursday, the group of volunteers, including myself, seemed to get more accustomed and settled into the groove of the long days and surprises that volunteering at either PPA or La Molina can throw at you. On Wednesday we woke up to be greeted with the usually flattering, “Beautiful ladies and handsome gentlemen” followed by a talk on what we would be doing at La Molina and PPA on this day. Edith taught us more about the culture and geographical standpoint of Peru and where it falls in South America. After eating breakfast and having our group meeting, Paulette and Irene departed for La Molina as Jim (my dad) and I left for PPA. Paulette and Irene seemed to both have wonderful days, despite Paulette being tortured by Irene about how good the ice cream she got was and a strike going on in the college. Irene once again had seven students and Paulette assisted her in one of her lessons. At PPA in the morning, I left for Niño Jesús to have a great day playing with the babies and my dad left to work on the labor project for part of the day. Then Edith, my father, and I had a nice lunch at De Gallia and returned to finish off the day strong with our challenging but lovable siblings. That evening everyone except for myself went to a very nice restaurant close to the hotel that had a very close and beautiful ocean view. Wednesday was a very successful and fulfilling day for all members of this group. Did I mention that there was sunlight?

Entry submitted by: Carter Ayers