We're almost at the end of the time we have here in Peru, and the feeling that accompanies that reality is pretty surreal.
Here, I've been able to put some of the most beautiful, loving faces to problems I've only heard about growing up...
the tiny 7-year-old girl who works with the rest of her family making bricks, which keeps her from going to school. (IINCAP Child Labor NGO)
the family in the campo who shares a plate of food and eats it with their hands, and then feeds us individually plates of food of the same size. (Camina Conmigo sit- Llacanora, Peru)
the malnourished little boy who looks at least 3 years younger than his age, because who knows how many meals he gets daily. (El Bichito Comedor- Pulyucana, Peru)
the people-young and old- who, for whatever reason, struggle more with self esteem and hope than I thought was possible. (Health Workshop- Porcon, Peru)
But then, there are the daily improvements that prove the existence of miracles, even in the most unsuspecting of places...
the little boy with special needs who, through motor improvement at our workshops with Camina Conmigo, is told that he will one day be able to drive using his own two feet. (Camina Conmigo Workshop- Cerrillos, Peru)
the young child laborer who reads a chapter book for the first time and falls in love with it. (IINCAP Reading/Writing Workshop- Santa Barbara, Peru)
the volunteers who develop a so much needed bond in the dark, difficult hours when stress and sickness try to take over the best in them. (Aguas Calientes, Peru)
the woman who is found unexpectedly and given a volunteer's pair of shoes so she doesn't have to walk on dirt anymore. (Health Screenings- Licliconga, Peru)
the volunteer who overcomes the language barrier and learns the universal language of love. (Health Screenings- Licliconga, Peru)
the people, young and old, who learn what love is through the daily acts of sacrifice they get to give and receive. (IINCAP Reading/Writing Workshop- Colcapampa, Peru)
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a Country Coordinator for HELP International.
HELP has a way of allowing and empowering us to take advantage of situations that will improve and refine us. Through this experience, I have learned that we all have more love and capacity to give than I ever would have thought.
Maybe the biggest blessing, though, is that Peru has kept me from being blind; blind to possibilities, to the people around me, and to love. This experience has helped me be more sensitive in a world that is desensitizing. to love when i have no more love to give, and to look into a child's eyes and find hope when it didn't seem like it was in a million miles' distance.
But what will we learn or gain if we don't take the risk of giving first?