Volunteers

Hola Desde Un Portland Muy Caliente

Hi everyone. I’d say it’s about time for an introduction. Up until now, Carly and I have been anxiously waiting while we follow Valerie’s posts. Though we won’t be meeting up with Val and beginning our stay in San Francisco until the end of August, we will be arriving in Lima in just five days! Of course it seems like only last week that we were telling people we’d be heading off to Peru in four months…where does the time go?

I can’t help but be incredibly impressed, reading about all the unbelievable progress Val has made in such a short amount of time. I am so proud and grateful that she has been willing to go down to Peru ahead of us and face the challenge of doing a very difficult thing all on her own. Up until her last posting, it had been somewhat tough to envision what our lives in San Francisco would be like. Yet after reading her reports on Piura, Peru, misty rivers, the pace of the town, and the responsiveness of students, parents and community members, I feel like we have an incredibly well informed idea of what we’re getting ourselves into.

My favorite is that progress has already begun on both surveying the community and also getting opinions for a group project. It will be exciting to see how the statistical data we collect will change through our impact on the youth health promoters and their families. It also sounds like community members are almost as excited about working towards a project as we are. The idea of setting up some sort of waste management program or system seems like a wonderful idea. I think we often forget how living in a clean environment can impact people’s mental and physical health.

Both Carly and I are excited to bring our creative talents and experiences to San Francisco, Peru. We have worked with and taught children from Cambodia to Costa Rica. From an experiential standpoint, my focus has always been on politics, community organizing and nonprofit management. I’ve worked professionally in a variety of local and global environments. Carly certainly represents the creative talent amongst us. She recently received her BFA in Metalsmithing from the Oregon College of Art and Craft. In the past, Carly has taught art classes in Portland-based inner-city youth programs and has volunteered herself with other art and community based organizations. She is incredibly anxious to share her artistic talents with the children and people of San Francisco, Peru as well as become a student once again.

We both have a lot of ducks to get in a row between now and Monday, but with a little extra sweat on our brow (currently 105 degrees today as Portland experiences a record heat wave) we should be able to make it all work. We’ve got heads full of hopes and ideas which will soon enough be put to the test. Can’t wait to give you all the next update from Peru!!!

Curtis y Carly

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