by Kaitlin Harlow
After I got home from Central America, I went to Peru for a little over three months. I saw beautiful places in the sierra and the costa, made amazing friends, sampled some of the best food on the planet, and learned more about education and international development than I ever expected–all through volunteering with a nonprofit named Building Dignity.
I learned that one secret to teaching is to make a fool of yourself in such a precise way that the kids are laughing and at ease but also still invested in the activity and not ignoring you. It’s an art form. I also learned Spanish (for real finally because it was the language I spoke 95% of the time) and all about the unpredictability, loneliness, and triumph of backpacking solo.
I spent New Years dazed and confused by the staggering wealth of Miraflores and downtown Lima, a radiant afternoon […]