Students Without Borders is a WUSC and CECI program that enables Canadian university and college students to participate in exciting, volunteer learning opportunities in South America, Africa, and Asia.

2nd Blog Post from Lima

June 22, 2014

So I’m roughly at the halfway point of my internship here in Lima.  Things are going really well, and I’ve definitely settled into more of a groove compared to the constant changes from when I first arrived.  I am moved into my “pensión”, I know where I’m going to be getting my meals most days, and I’m becoming really familiar with the trips I have to make to work, be they from my house to the Aurora Vivar office in La Victoria or to the schools we do workshops in in the “Cono Norte”.

I’m getting more confident with my role in the workshops as well.  In our vocational orientation workshops, I’m a little more familiar with the costs and opportunities of university or technical education, and try to give as much of this type of information as possible to the students I work with to help them make their decisions.  I don’t have a huge amount of time with each student during the workshop, as a fair bit of time they are listening to the facilitator, but during the second session of vocational orientation they complete an exercise and quite often are willing to chat or seek input while they complete it.

“La Chispa de Aurorita”, the science-oriented club for young girls, is a bit more fun than vocational orientation.  The idea is to let girls have a fun time thinking about and completing science experiments or activities, which will boost their confidence and self esteem and maybe pique their interest in science down the road.  The girls are a lot of fun, and so is plugging a hot dog into a battery!

The other task I’ve been completing is preparing a database for the organisation to use and fill in once I’m gone.  While I’m pretty comfortable with Excel, some major challenges come from the need for the database and the charts that are linked to it to be easily accessible to people with more basic knowledge of MS Office.  Also, a lot of the data I put in isn’t numeric, and it can be difficult to decipher the handwriting of a lot of the students we work with. Once I finish all the data entry, however, I’m excited to see how useful this tool will be for Aurora Vivar.  I’m even thinking of trying to integrate this database and the trends I find within the data as an element of my final assignment for the University of Ottawa.

The last thing I’ll mention in this blog post is the university class I’m attending with my boss, who’s finishing her Master’s degree in Gender and Development.  This is a huge challenge, to try and follow a graduate-level discussion in Spanish, but I’m learning a lot, and my own experience as a student of development has helped me keep up to some extent.  I am especially appreciative of the fact that so many different viewpoints and perspectives can be presented which fundamentally challenge a lot of the mainstream ideas in Canada.  Mimi (my boss) and I have had some very interesting discussions on our way out of the university on Monday nights.

Anyway, I need to go prepare for said class, so I’ll end my blog post here.  Happy Sunday!