I felt like a fish out of water when I first arrived in Peru and started working in Huancayo. Not only was my Spanish vocabulary negligible, but the culture shock was also intimidating at first. However, arriving to Expand Peru was like coming home to a family. Bernabe, Ingrid, Stefanie, and all the other volunteers I have met here make up an amazing support system that I will be forever grateful for.
Working with the kids in CASA project, the after-school program, was a journey. I was a teacher, counselor, friend, student at times (learning about Peruvian culture and Spanish), and a part-time piggy back machine. At times the kids were disobedient and frustrating, the kids were always affectionate at the end of the day.
Volunteering in a different culture with people from a completely different walk of life has definitely made me grow and learn more about myself. I hope that a part of me has been left here with everyone who I was fortunate enough to meet.