According to my timehop (a mobile app that displays photos, social media posts, etc from previous years), a year ago today I arrived at the Maternidad de Maria orphanage for the first time. It is absolutely crazy to think that it has been a whole year since I embarked on the most formative journey/experience of my life. Each and every day I thank God for having had the opportunity to have served the people of Chimbote last summer, but also for the opportunity to be going back in a mere 30 days! That’s right 30 days from today I will don the green scrubs once more and return to be embraced by tons of sloppy kisses from my little friends in Chimbote!
So join me in backtracking for a minute to fill most of you in on how I finagled my way into returning to Chimbote for the month of August. Last December, still in my missing Peru and all of my Peruvian pals funk, I stumbled upon an email from the Providence College Center for International Studies. The subject line read Are you interested in spending the summer abroad? Followed by Are you in need of financial support to achieve that dream? My answer to both questions was YES (flights to Peru do not come cheap and I am a college gal on a budget)! I read through the rest of the email and decided that this might be my opportunity. Since my return from Peru last August I had always longed to return. I had envisioned taking a gap year prior to starting any graduate programs and spending my time away from my textbooks by fully immersing myself in the community of Chimbote. While post grad life seemed so far away, the thought of returning inspired me to continue going full-steam ahead with my coursework. The prospect of returning a year early to Chimbote was so very enticing. Without giving it a second thought I decided to apply for the Global Service Learning Grant. I told no one about my application process figuring that I would not be awarded the grant due to my fellowship the previous summer. However, in early April I received another email from the International Studies office stating that I had been awarded the grant and would indeed be returning to Chimbote for the summer of 2016! After a quick celebration that consisted of yelling, crying, and jumping up and down in my dorm room I decided it would be best to tell my parents of both my application and acceptance into the program! (Update for all of you who know my parents: Dad was very excited and Mom immediately went out to buy clothing for the children- typical).
With much joy in my heart I am so very excited to officially announce part 2 of my Peruvian Adventure and look forward to continuing to share the stories of my work at the Maternidad de Maria clinic and orphanage with each of you.
Please keep me and all those with whom I will be working in your thoughts and prayers, and get ready for an influx of pictures of the children to your inbox in just 30 days!