Placements!

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Drive in the morning

Today, the volunteers got the chance to officially emerge with the children during their placements. The day began nice and early at 6:45 AM. It takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes to get to our placements depending on the traffic. We took the ocean side view today on our drive over to the district of Chorrillos. The volunteers seemed to really enjoy the drive, even though it was early, there was energy laughter and excitement.

Day care
Marcela, Lynn, Steph, Julia (left to right)

Lynn and Stephanie have been spending their time at the Day care in Pacifico de Villa. Working with children can be exhausting especially if you’re going it ALL DAY. Sure enough, Lynn and Steph were tired by the end of the day but with a huge smile on their face. When asked about their day, Lynn said she was so happy because she got to read to the children today. They had 3 children at the day care today and had an amazing day just bonding and playing with them. These activities included anything from going to the playground to making music to reading books.

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View from classroom window at Tupac Amaru II

IMG_1643Our ESL and Hands for Hygiene groups spend some time at Tupac Amaru II school for the first time thisweek. There were many observations made today with the group of children the volunteers worked with. Bottom line was that the children here do not have the same opportunities that children back home have. Therefore, they don’t built up their social skills and confidence until a very late age. Children from 14 years old and younger get to experience leadership opportunities through extra curricular and the children at Tupac seem to lack those opportunities. It is so important to give them the platform to shine and share their opinions. And that is exactly what the Hands for Hygiene is doing in their Club de Salud group.

During ESL, Eva (a volunteer) got to meet all the children who are devoting their vacation time to learn English and be involved in these extra curricular activities. They made family trees, jumped rope, made sentences, and had fun learning new vocabulary and games they can take home with them. It was a great introduction day to get their new teacher Eva a little better. We hope the children come tomorrow with even more excitement and interest.

It makes us all feel very privileged to be here and spend this time with individuals who inspire us.

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-Mansi Parasher

Exploring

Today the group woke up only having a little bit of sleep from last nights late flight. They all looked fresh and ready to explore!!

In the morning, the group got to visit the beautiful Downtown Lima. Where they saw old architecture, peruvian culture and some wicked history in the catacombs. During our lunch at a very nice restaurant, which has a history of its own. The waitress told them their history and how they came to be working there. They mentioned things about changing the world if you do a good job at whatever you do. It was really nice to see that they wanted to share that insight with our young generation.

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After visiting downtown Lima, the group then enjoyed a lovely evening of leisure time where they got to visit the grocery store, internet cafe, and a nice walk to the beach if they wanted. Most of them were up for a nice walk! The sunset tonight was beautiful, I wish I had a picture of it !

Tomorrow they will be entering into a week of new experiences, meeting fantastic people and making meaningful relationships. Hope they get a good nights rest 🙂

Until then.

Buenas noches

-Mansi Parasher

Discrimination

Why can’t we just appreciate each other for what we are? Why can’t we just see each other as humans rather than judging based on skin colour or social status?

Recently I was hurt by another person’s words when they told me they didn’t like a certain colour of people. It is up to ME and YOU to not judge people, first of all. It was hard not to judge, when someone says that to you. But it all comes down to being the person that your dog thinks you are. (lol).

I’ve met my fair share of closed minded people, but when you come across people that make you sad, make you upset or make you frustrated, simply remember..that YOU are aware, YOU are the one who’s open minded and YOU accept all types of thoughts…and those thoughts also include negative ones. Be happy that you are not the type of person that discriminates, be happy that you aren’t the one making someone else sad. There is nothing that anger ever fixes. (well it might temporarily, as anger brings passion and sometimes honesty) but for true solutions to such mind boggling situations, simply, explain your side of things. Give the other person something to think about. Because the only way we will bring change into this world is by sharing our positivity, sharing our opinion and influencing others to think differently.

That person hurt me because I felt sorry for their unfortunate thoughts, today they hurt one, tomorrow they will hurt more…..unfortunately. Lets hope more people will stand up for what is right.

-Mansi Parasher

NOT FUN!!

By far, the highlight of my entire year of 2013 was reaching the end of my Salkantay Trek after 5 days. Climbing a mountain is NOT FUN. Being exhausted is NOT FUN. Being dirty is NOT FUN.

It is ONLY the feeling of accomplishment, adventure and the experience you get out of it after you have finished it. Most of the journey during it felt like “Oh my gosh, why am i doing this?” So even after all the NOT FUN parts, the overall experience was fantastic and the most memorable physical experience. 941200_10151944854976038_181735734_n

I like to look at life in a similar perspective. Life isn’t all about fun and games. Unfortunately, we have to do things (a lot) that we do not like. Go through struggles, put up with unpleasant personalities, problem solving, overcoming fear, or anything that you consider NOT FUN.

It is only after we do it, we feel so good for overcoming these mental and physical obstacles in life. We feel so good when we finish a task. We feel even better when we get good results out of the hard work.

This is a new year, and some people like to think of it as a new beginning. But why wait for a new year to give you motivation? A new day is an opportunity to do something different, something better than yesterday.

So go out there and do something thats NOT FUN with full efforts.

Never thought I would be giving that advice out.

I recently reflected on my past experience that WERE FUN and still rewarding. Check out my video on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/solidarityinactioninc.

Tell me what you think!

-Mansi Parasher

Paulina’s Journey

 

 

 

Paulina is a sweet individual that I met in Peru during the summer in the community. She is from Poland and was working alongside SIA and Youth in action! This is her input from her experience in Pacifico.

How did you come to know about SIA and our work in Pacifico de villa?

I got to know obout SIA in Pacifico from Jacek Klisowki. I was working in the house for street children named Ayllu Situwa which he set up and has been running for more than 8 years. I was doing my volunteer service ( I was send by Papaya Foundation from Poland, and I was implementing the project funded by Ministry of Forein Affairs in Poland – program named Polish help) there and he told me about Larry and the activities for children which you organize. I really wanted to help and was interested in the work which you do.

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 What was your first impression of Pacifico and Youth in Action program/the kids?

I was amazed by the energy and happiness of the children. It was surprising that in this some kind of desert place there were so many children and that they are so willing to do all things which volunteers proposed them. That they get so deep into all activities, always with big smiles on their faces, try to do it perfectly…

What were your expectations or goal that you wanted to achieve while working with Daniel?

First of all I wanted to share with children and Daniel my experience in working with creativity. In Poland I work in developing creativity center named Kangur – cangaroo:) I wanted to share what I know and be with those children, help them with homeworks, spend time just be. I also wanted to get to know something from Daniel, he is very wise, has great contact with children. He is amaizing. I am very happy that I could work with him.

What were some of the challenges you faced while working with Daniel and youth in action?

The biggest challange was when they told us that we can not use local communal anymore:( We had to organize it outside and that it still was very cold…but all the rest was a great pleasure.

What kind of activities were you able to do with the kids?

We did a lot of art activities. Also connected with art and cultures. We were talking about Egyptian culture, a little bit about the India, we got to know some arabic letters, listening to polish legends. We did mandalas from spices, builded animals, were making a lot of ideas how we could use something or into what we could transform simple things. Painting, drawing, constructing. We also used the parachute to do some moving activities, played football. It was a good time. I hope it will serve them or even made them feel happy…

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Would you come back?

I hope so…The true is that I would love to. The problem is the distance. Peru is really far from Poland but close to my heart so I hope it will help. I would also love to spend more time, next time in guarderia. I love little kids and they need a lot of care. We will see.

What is one key message that you are taking back to Poland with you?

The key message which I brought from pacifico and casa Ayllu Situwa, after those three months which I spent working with kids is that you should never judge children but love and give a lot of attention and care. They are so innocent. And the other is that you should smile a lot because then you make others smile.