After two days of working at Hogar Amantaní, I’m exhausted but also very excited for the next two months. Yesterday, Katy, the other member of our group at the same volunteer site, and I jumped right in after being introduced to Lupe, the woman in charge of the children between 2 and 5. We started by helping the kids with their morning snack, which was filled with cups being spilled and plenty of screaming and crying. After everyone was fed and everything was cleaned up, we walked to a nearby park. Keeping track of all of the kids and making sure they’re safe was very difficult, but I honestly enjoyed every moment I spent with them. After the park it was time for lunch, which was yet again, controlled chaos. After an hour-long adventure filled with screams, messes, and tears, we cleaned up everything from the bibs to the floor. I enjoy cleaning because it’s work that has to be done and I know that it is one less thing that the employees of Amantaní have to squeeze into their hectic days.
This morning, I walked in right in the midst of breakfast. I helped Lupe around the table and it was extremely difficult as expected since kids are screaming, knocking over their bowls, refusing to eat, etc. When breakfast was over, I started cleaning up and then accompanied another volunteer, Daniela, to bring 3 little boys to school. I followed a similar routine as my first day and will probably get used to this routine. It was another exhausting yet exciting day.
After just two days, I already realize how important it is that we are working 6 hours a day from Mondays-Fridays for the next two months. Two months is a sufficient amount of time to build meaningful relationships with and gain the trust of both the employees and the children of Amantaní. This is definitely my main goal and I understand that it will take time. The kids deserve people that are willing to invest time and prioritize them and everyone I have met at Amantaní has been genuinely good and caring. It amazes me how much love they have for the kids. As I continue to work every morning, I hope to be an authority figure while also showing the kids unconditional love and doing all that I can to help Lupe and everyone else at Amantaní. When it comes to kids between 2 and 5, there is always something that needs to be done.