Farewells and Final Thoughts
Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
9Trip End Sep 28, 2010
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I never realized how close I would become to the community, the kids at the school and the other volunteers. It’s been really hard to leave everyone! I had an official farewell at both the school and the community and they were both fairly emotional affairs.
Firstly at the school they sat the departing volunteers down in front of the stage and lined all of the school kids up in the field. The principal gave a speech then one of the kids presented us each with flowers and a handmade card. Each grade sang a song for us and then they all lined up and gave each one of us a big hug.
Later in the evening the entire community was gathered in the community hall for a life skills workshop. At the end of the evening they called me up on the stage in front of everyone and each of the people I have designed a house for came up individually and thanked me. It was so nice to receive the heartfelt thanks and see the emotion in their faces.
And not forgetting the Peru’s Challenge staff and volunteers. It has been amazing to live and work with such an inspirational group of people. Every one of them with such an infectious positivity that makes you want to dive in headfirst and do all you can to help.
One frustration has been the slow progress of the construction, however we have to accept the local's way of doing things and not push our views onto them. We are there to help – not to dictate. That said, the negotiation, design and plans for the solar greenhouse are complete and agreed upon and construction is going ahead. I can answer any further queries remotely and feel confident that the greenhouse will be completed and be a success.
It really has been an amazing experience. One I will definitely remember for the rest of my life. I told the community on the night of my farewell that I had learned more from them than they had from me and that they had helped me to become a better person. I wasn’t lying. I believe that we could all learn something from the amazingly positive outlook of those less fortunate than ourselves.