Happy Independence day!

Today, the group had the opportunity to celebrate the independence day of Peru with local Peruvians in the community of Hijos de 28!

The day started with some dance practice and placement orientations. The volunteers got a better idea of their daily busy schedule while here in Peru and what they will be doing in placement each day. IMG_5799

It was beautiful to see the children embrace the volunteers and playing various games with them. We started the event by introducing the community to the volunteers. By the end of the event, we had the entire place dancing and excited!

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Everyone seemed to communicate really well and it didn’t really feel like there was a language component that was needed. The group had worked practicing till late last night with a dance called “festajo” that they got to present to the community members today.

As soon as all the ladies stepped out in their colourful skirts, everyone had a smile on their face. The dance was executed with grace and the community members even thanked us after for putting on such a delighting performance. It is beautiful that music and dance are something that can make you feel so connected with someone.DSCF4320

The community leaders got up and danced with everyone and we didn’t need any words to describe how we were feeling, it was all visible.

During the following week, the group will get more chances to bond with the Youth in Action children and their families. We hope they make the best of this week experience some enriching moments.

Hasta Luego!

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-Mansi Parasher

LIFE

Today, was education. Today, I learned about someones life and how to save a life.

We went to Tupac Amaru II school for our ESL classes but prior to that we had a meeting with a lovely individual who was willing to tell us about the history of the IMG_1062place we call our precious little garden of education. It was awesome to hear about the developments within the community but the hardships people faced to get where they are today are the rips in the timeline that make it imperfect in a beautiful way.

Imagine for a second, leaving your lovely home, moving far away to a place with no attraction, just wooden houses and sand…lots of sand and rocks. 40 years later, as she reminisced about her life, she shared with joy all that she has seen. I enjoyed the perk in her voice when she spoke about Tupac, a voice with pride. A community that fought for their rights to have electricity, water and sewage.

Imagine for a second, having to walk 20 blocks to go get water for things like laundry, and everyday use. Her children helped her through this process and well, it was normal for them. As she spoke about the issue of water, she got emotional explaining “it reminds me of a very sad time.” Tupac Amaru II is in a much better place right now, and with the help of people like this woman, it will only get better.

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Lilliana and Julia are the two amazing women who work day and night to make sure the children at their day care are happy and healthy. Sometimes keeping people healthy is a tough job in case of emergencies. James Nyugen, an extended volunteer and a paramedic by profession gave them a 3 hour course on different situations they might face while with children or with people in general.

They went over scenarios where someone might be choking on their food, what to do if the person is too tall, too short, in a wheelchair, or is too big. They even went on what to do if a person has stopped breathing after choking!IMG_1077

James did an excellent job at explaining every single detail to these ladies, and they were so interested in learning that they tried these procedures with each other!IMG_1075        Everyone should know the basics on saving lives because you never know when you might end up in a situation where you are the only one to give someone a second chance.

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Teaching Julia how to properly handle a choking baby

Another scenario they practiced was if the baby is choking, which can be really difficult and hard to handle. It was so amazing to see James handle everything with such care and precision. Julia and Lilliana asked many questions because in their line of work they’ve dealt with everything from fevers, falling and crying babies. Luckily they have never had a situation until today where the child had to be rushed to the hospital. But none the less, they left the office, way more educated on this subject than they came in with.

Don’t you just love learning!?

I will post a video on the entire workshop soon because our fellow viewers, and SIA believers, also can benefit from this information.

-Mansi Parasher

 

Celebrating end of MAY!

This month was extremely remarkable! To recap everything in its truest essence would be a difficult task but I can try my best to express my feelings towards this past month.

The adventure started with Peru A and Western group coming in at the beginning of the month. They started the projects that the rest of the groups will be fulfilling, perfecting, tweaking,  for the rest of the summer. The SIA staff members, and volunteers have worked day and night to make sure everything is happening with love, care and compassion.

We’ve seen three groups of volunteers come and go now. But to say they “came and went” is such an understatement of their experience. Each and every one of them put in their 100% efforts to the projects, to the planning, and to the relationships they built with the children here. The Youth in Action programs were successful due to the love and care each volunteer put into doing activities with them. The after school program is suppose to be a place of excitement, education and comfort for the children and I really think the SIA volunteers helped reach that atmosphere. The children awaited their 2-4 pm program each day and participated with full energy.

The health program got amazing feedback from the community and the school because of the efforts of all the volunteers. There was a lot of planning, documenting, surveying, meetings and preparing to reach the goals SIA and its volunteers had set out. The health program wants to improve general hygiene and evaluate the needs of the local communities that we work with. The volunteers worked on location, off location and ran events to create awareness towards these health issues. If it wasn’t for the hard work our volunteers put in, none of this would be possible. We had a health event in the community and in the public school Tupac Amaru II this past month and it only opens up more doors for the next coming months.

ESL is similar to the YIA program in that it allows for children to come out of interest to learn, and educate themselves. But ESL takes a solely english approach where the children come to practice their knowledge of english after school. I saw the volunteers and children bloom this month in the ESL program. There were always exciting stories to hear from each volunteers and I could hear the passion in their voice while expressing these stories. It is truly amazing to see volunteers really CARE for their placements that they took part in.

All of these amazing memories this month and a common theme of “end” comes to each volunteers mind. But this is not true! This is not an END! This is a celebration of the end of a month but the beginning of more progression. I highly encourage the volunteers to follow this blog, and our facebook page to keep that connection with your memories in Peru.

Keep in touch, all of you 🙂

-Mansi Parasher

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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

Plot twist ;)

Saw a quote today that made me smile.

“Whenever something goes wrong in your life, just yell “PLOT TWIST”, and move on”

How AMAZING would it be if we just treated our lives as an exciting novel, or movie. Well lets see….

1) Heart breaks would excite you. Every time someone hurt you, you’d be like “DON’T YOU WORRY, GOOD THINGS ARE COMING MY WAY” (well because that usually happens in a movie. Girl breaks boys heart, boy cries, meets amazing girl, falls in love, realizes that bad things happened in the past for a reason.

2) Tragedies would motivate you. Usually when the character goes through something horrible, its followed up my self awakening in some form of adventure of journey. Prime example FINDING NEMO! Guys wife is brutally murdered and son is kidnapped. LOL, but through the spiritual journey both father and son find their love for each other and see the world outside of their coral that they once knew.

3) We would’t judge people so much. Movies and books always have wacky characters but in real life we tend to stay away from wacky characters. Maybe we would just learn to accept people more for what they are and just .. go .. with . it 😉

4) We would always want to dig deeper. Think about it, without a good search, journey and questioning; a mystery novel is NOTHING. We would question everything and seek more from life.

So next time you break your nail, stub your toe, your cat wants to kill you…. think of it as a PLOT TWIST and deal with it. and of course you can treat less serious situations that way too (stubbing your toe is killer).

Mansi Parasher