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 πŸ™‚

Until then.

Buenas noches

-Mansi Parasher

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Future Leaders

We had our very first trip leader meeting, and it was awesome to hear everything that has been going on, and what the near future holds for all of us!

Congratulations to Jamila, Roxanne, Lauren and Breanne for being trip leaders for next year! This will give us all a chance to introduce a beautiful opportunity to other people. All you ladies bring in your own unique feature into SIA and I am so looking forward to sharing ideas with all of you. πŸ™‚

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missing Rox and Jamila

I guess this will be a good time to share some advice from our past trip leaders. This might help our new trip leaders, or just people in general. To be a leader is a life skill πŸ™‚

As much as you can prepare, remember that not everything will go according to plan. Stay confident, stay positive, smile, and know it will all work out. These moments offer us the greatest type of learning we could ask for.Julie IngriselliΒ 

Embrace your fears and believe in yourself. Trip leading can seem like an overwhelming responsibility at times, but can be so rewarding if you let the experience challenge you.
Be calm, be patient, and be optimistic. Tell yourself ahead of time that there will be things that you can’t control – and that’s okay. You’ll roll with the punches and everything will eventually fall into place.Avantika Mathur

It is a totally difference experience transitioning from the role of a participant to that of a Program Leader and I believe that the 2014 Program Leaders will make the transition into their new role seamlessly. They have demonstrated strong leadership skills and shown their passion for Pacifico de Villa and SIA in so many ways – I encourage them to remember that they have been selected for a reason and to use their prior experiences in the community to guide their decisions prior to and during their programs in Peru. SIA has an incredible team of talented individuals both in Canada and Peru that are excited to work alongside this group developing the upcoming programs. Natalee Freeborn

Being a program leader is about finding a balance: a balance between challenging your participants and making them feel comfortable; keeping to the schedule and being flexible; sticking to your ways and being open-minded; and of following your head and following your heart. If you can find a natural balance between each of those, you will be a successful and effective leader – Heather Law

My advice would be to always smile and have patience. Sometimes it can be challenging to meet everyones needs and that can be stressful. But just stay positive and do your best.Nabila Kanji

You can check out more information on how to apply! http://www.solidarityinaction.ca

-Mansi Parasher

Being

I sat through a lecture by James Orbinski, the other night with Larry Shuttleworth and Alex Carson. He spoke about the issue of global health and equity as a principle, which is an imperfect project. Even though the lecture itself was excellently presented and pleasant to listen to, he made a lot of remarks that stood out to me.

At one point he asked “Why are humans crossing these boundaries?” He was speaking about the carelessness we show towards the value of another human beings. Why is it that things like Genocide, or even violence in general, take place? Why are thousands of people killed everyday in this world? Why are we not giving to the ones who are in need? The fact is, and unfortunately always will be, that a LOT of people go to bed hungry every night, a LOT of people suffer from illnesses and a LOT of people live in horrible conditions. We either accept it , or we try and change it.

He also mentioned, “You can’t change the world…but you can participate.” It is so true….we can’t just set out thinking we are going to change the world, because that is just going to leave us disappointed when things don’t go as planned. This does NOT mean that you cannot be a part of a change. I think it is important for all of us to realize, that once an action has been started…thats one step closer and better than what it was before. So keep going…. keep doing what you’re doing…you’ve taken off.

If you see something that is against the natural beauty of being a human being….help change it. And I am talking about things like disrespect, hate, violence, fraud, injustice, and even depression. All these things to me, are against the BEAUTY of being a human being.

It is true beauty when people take their own time to GIVE. It is true beauty when you see someone smiling for no reason. It is also true beauty when someone puts a stop to something unpleasant. All these things remind me of how beautiful people are.

Being considerate should be a practice. We should wake up each day and practice the act of being considerate to others. Just think about that one for a while. When is the last time you put yourself in someone else’s shoes …. while being angry or frustrated? It is easier to do it when you’re pleasant and happy, but being compassionate during emotional stricken situations becomes a task. Inspirational-Wallpapers-With-Quotes11

Don’t let the small worries of your life reflect on the message you want to give to the world.

“Life is lived foreword and understood in retrospect.”Β Ever thought of your past and all the hardships you had to face at some point? Now you understand what it did to you, why it happened, and what you learned from it.

And look at you now πŸ™‚

-Mansi Parasher

Jose

Today, I will tell you a story.

This story is about a young boy, whose name is Jose Javier Herrera Grefa. Why is this boy so special?

Well, it all started earlier in July 2013, when I was in Pacifico de villa with the lovely July group. It was another day of placement in the community and we were just about to have lunch. Daniel walked in with a tall guy, sat down with him at a table, gave him a lunch and was talking to him all lunch. Later on Daniel came over to our table, and said that he saw Jose outside the community centre and invited him in for lunch. Jose was just a curious bystander wondering what these crazy canadians were doing in the community centre.

I met jose briefly that day. I heard his story, that he had just moved to Pacifico a month and a half ago, and was living with his uncle and aunt. After mentioning to Larry (Boss man) that we should invite jose tomorrow for the health campaign, I soon realized he had already thought of doing that.

The next day, we had our health campaign (Check out blog from July 12th). Jose is in one of the pictures BECAUSE, as soon as he arrived that day, he just took in charge. He was responsible for the registration of everyone who came to our event. I joked around with him as much as I could in spanish, and watched as he would inform everyone about the event, and tell them to register, and basically commit to this job he has been given, without even asking any questions. He just made himself a part of what we were doing. And I admired that.

Since that day, Jose joined us everyday. Seeing his lovely smiling face brightened up my day. Within a week he had made relationships with many of us.

His message was simple, give the love you wish you receive.Β 

He interacted with the kids, he interacted with the volunteers and most of all, he had found a sense of belonging in Pacifico. Why do I say that? Well as our relationship grew, I found out that in the past month that he had been in Pacifico, he didn’t enjoy it much because he didn’t know many people. (No one likes to move). I was happy to know that joining SIAs vision gave him a sense of responsibility, and belonging that he had hoped for.

Jose, joined the program Leaders de villa and was a part of hosting an event and doing an amazing presentation on garbage for the community members (In August). He was a committed student of the english classes we held. He also started working with Youth in Action and helping with Daniel. It was that simple.

As other groups came down, we saw jose’s leadership skills rise day by day. He was a part of everything we did. I spent my last month and a half of summer with him everyday, and saw him grow so much.

So, why is jose so special?

Because he proves that life is full of surprises. It is not a surprise to me that he is like a little brother to me and many others who have interacted with him in the past few months.

What I have learned from him is that you should be open to any opportunities that come your way. Treat everyone with respect, love, care and affection. Tell everyone they are beautiful. Commit to the things you truly love. And that love really needs no translation.

(left to right) Julie, Jhoselyn, Me, and Jose.
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1238086_498924796850061_1120172615_n Natalee and Jose

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“A Loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.”

-Mansi Parasher

Be a part of something amazing!

In late August, we came across a fellow named Diego who was passionate about photography and video making. I remember sitting down with Mayra (lovely lady from the Peruvian SIA team), and Diego, talking about what we would like to portray in our promotional video. This turned into a very meaningful conversation about what SIA does for people. Do we help people realize something? Do we give them an opportunity to gain personal growth? We had to figure out what it was that gives people amazing memories each time they come to Peru with SIA.

One thing we all came in agreement with was the quote “Sustainability is created by bringing leaders together to inspire change”… hmmmm… what does this mean? Do we automatically attract leaders? Maybe.. but SIA helps with empowering people to become future leaders! I don’t think I was aware of my leadership skills until I emerged myself into an experience that was out of my comfort zone.

Inspiring change…inspiring change… it makes sense! Think about how many different minds,opinions and perspectives come across SIA when so many wonderful people join us. You can go your entire life looking at something one way..and one person can come across your life and make you see it in a whole different way. So we’re waiting for your new ideas!

Be the change you want to see in the world.

There were a few things that happened this summer as a result of fresh ideas in someone’s mind.

English class in July

 

Day care
Day care

 

new monkey bars!
new monkey bars!

Check out our video on http://www.facebook.com/SolidarityinactionInc page! I hope it speaks to you, the same way it does to me.

-Mansi Parasher