June 21, 2012
I’m off to Cusco, Peru!
There are so many emotions going through me right now but to sum it all up, I am scared but yet excited. It’s okay though! We can only grow if we push ourselves and do something out of our comfort zones right?
As I write this, I am in Lima airport waiting for my 5 am flight. In total, it takes approximately 24 hours to get from Vancouver to Cusco with all my layovers. During my long flights (and the lack of entertainment on the United Airlines), I’ve had plenty of time to reflect over the past couple of months with EdGen. Overall, it has been awesome.
The one thing I remember most about training was an article called “The Bottom Line for Donors” by GiveWell.org. It is an article that advises donors to be aware of how their donations are being used. For example, someone could spend money or donate books to a school, but only to find out that it is not useful. It could be for reasons such as the books are not in the right language or at the right level for the students. Previously, I was only concerned about non-profits organizations taking portions of my donations for their admin fees. It never crossed my mind to think about the logistics of it.
During our training days (I say “our” because there are 3 other fellows), the EdGen volunteer team gave us extensive trainings of what to look for while we’re down here for. First, we were to be their eyes and gage the impact of EdGen in our specific location. Second, we are to assist our partners with their base programs and projects. Finally, as fellows we are to observe and soak up everything around us so we can better understand the students and their lives. This is a very general overview and I will go into more details as my fellowship progresses.
I should note that in these next 3 weeks, I will be taking Spanish classes so I can better understand and talk to the students. My fellowship with EdGen and Mosqoy does not start until July 14th. Until then, my blog posts will be of the Peruvian culture and mainly photo blogs to show you what it is like in Cusco and Ollantaytambo.
Now off to Cusco to meet my homestay family!