Global Service Scholar: Veronica Zamora
Country: Peru

I start my day at 7 a.m., I get ready and have breakfast at 7:30 with my new favorite nine people.

We are all placed at different sites, so we all head out at different times to start our services. Alexis and I head out to the Boys Orphanage and arrive by 8:30 a.m. Once we step into the orphanage, the boys go crazy and are yelling my last name (Zamora) and Alexis’s name.  Our morning starts full of hugs and kisses. Originally there were only three boys in the morning and the rest would show up in the afternoon, but since a teacher strike is going on nationwide in Peru, our mornings have been filled with more boys. We help mentor and tutor the boys on their homework and teach and help them with their English.

Our morning shift runs from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., and then I head right next door to the soup kitchen to help out or have a simple chat with the children. After that we head out at 12:15 for lunch back home! We are treated so well here. We have Ruth who cooks every meal for us and she cooks amazing food! One dish she makes is lomo saltado, which is potatoes with meat, and tomatoes with a side of rice. Fun fact: Peru has more than 3,000 potato varieties.

After our lunch time is over, we head out again to get to the Boys Orphanage at 2:30. Our next shift usually runs from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. From 3 to 4 p.m. we would do homework, but since the teachers have been on strike, we get a bit more time to do workshops and – of course – play soccer because that is all they want to play all the time. Once we finish our workshops, we play soccer for the remaining time, or we sit down and talk to the boys. After, we say our goodbyes to the boys and the staff we head back home again.

We typically have dinner around 6:30, including dishes such as deep fried cauliflower with a side a rice – once again it was prepared by Ruth! Once dinner is over, we meet an hour later to debrief and talk about how our day went or what we are feeling that day or in general. After our meetings, I work on my journal and spend time with my housemates and we typically spend the evening talking. At times we will go out and hang out at the plaza, going around buying souvenirs or Peruvian treats. My days teach me something new every day. I look forward to hanging out with the boys the next day, safely crossing the streets and making it to the other side alive, and the fun weekend adventures that await! Thank you, Peru!