Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

volunteering in perú

On Tuesday night I had a nun come to my house here to meet up with me and discuss some volunteer opportunities that they have for me. The nun just so happened to be from Minnesota, which is where I am from! I was super excited. She’s originally from Crookston, Minnesota (way up in the northwestern part of Minnesota) and has been working here in Perú since 1973.

She had invited me (thanks to Misty from STA in Ames) to come up to Piura in Northern Perú for a week to where she is working. When she got to my house she actually explained to me what I will be doing… which I was really anxious to learn about. I will be leaving Lima on October 12th, arriving 15 hours later on the 13th in Piura, staying until the 19th, and arriving back in Lima at about 6 a.m. on the 20th in time to go to my 10 o’clock class!

Besides the ridiculous sleep deprivation I will have during this trip I will be working with kids!! That makes me SO excited. I will be living in the convent that the nuns live in, and will be working in a shelter for kids who’s parents have died of AIDS. Some of these kids have AIDS themselves, and others are at risk for developing AIDS. Sister Elena, the nun from MN, told me that there are only 10 children in the program, so I am assuming that I will get to know them really well.

After school, I will be working in a library helping very low-income children with their homework. And in the evening, or in the morning if there isn’t programming with the shelter, I will be going into prisons for adolescents with the sisters (they’re called mother here) and doing a prison ministry with them that is focused on education.

I am really hoping that this is an eye-opening experience for me!

While Sister Elena was here she also invited an invitation for me to go down south to Ayacucho to stay with another community of nuns and do similar work down there. I am still waiting on date confirmation, but if I get the final confirmation from the sisters, I will be going from November 16th until November 23rd or 24th. I would leave after class on the 16th and come back in time for my class on the 23rd or the 24th… depending on when I have an exam for that class. Oh how I love super cheap bus transportation! Round trip VIP seating on a bed-bus, the nicest one in Perú, is only $30. (And this trip is only 9 hours one way!!)

In Ayacucho I am not sure of exactly what I would be doing, but I know that there is a library for children to go to for help with homework after school. I know they have some other community outreach programs as well.. I’m just not sure what they are.

I will keep you all posted in what I end up doing, but right now I have to go study!! Midterms start on MONDAY!! Wow. This semester is just flying by. I am so grateful that IFSA-Butler provides me this opportunity to go on these amazing opportunities. I, of course, will be keeping up in all of my classes. I know a lot of people say that studying abroad is just a joke and you don’t have any real classes. That is definitely not the case with this IFSA-Butler program. Our university is the most prestigious in Perú and since we are considered normal students, we have quite the workload.  I was always super busy back in the states, so I am loving this chance to buckle down, get things done, and get to contribute to Perú as well.


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