Cusco, Peru – Arrival

 

  • Describe your internship and what drew you to this opportunitY

My internship is at Cusco, Peru with the orgnization UBelong. As it was described in the website, I was to  work alongside a group of mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and social workers) and assist them in delivering their respective intervention methods. It also said that I might had the opportunity to conduct my own workshop with information for the residents regrding different mental health strategies.  However, upon my arrival in Peru I had a feeling that things might not be as I expected. I will not write much here but I have been keeping  journal of all my experiences, disappoinments, and surprises. I´ll post more later but right now I´m in an internet center and I have to press the keybord really hard and multiple times in order to get words written in here. The internet at my hostal has not worked since I got here. That has been a major issue for me because I have not been ble to see emails and get propèrly in contact with my family. I know this is not the US. I was not expecting it to be but I had certain standards for the place I was going to stay and my proyect. I started my internship yesterday and upon arrival on the site, neither the site coordinator or the psychologist that supposed to meet with me ws there. The UBelong coodinator told us before hand how things work in Peru and how everyone is always late. I get that. I´m from the Dominican Republic and let me tell you there is something called Dominican/Hispanic/African time. It means things start or people meet many minutes/hours later than what was previously agreed. But still! people show up! These individuals never show up even though they had spoken with my coordinator that same day. I was so frustrated.  My coordinator went with me so I was still able to start my proyect that day.

Like, I am really here to serve the community. Yes, is Cusco, Peru and there is a lot to see but that is not my priority. They are my priority so at least I expected the same treatment in return. Regardless, I as able to work with some children and that made it all worth it. So actually, I am working at an orphanage and not a mental healt center. Children and adolescents ages 0 – 18 live there in smaall houses with other 6/7 children around the same age/sex and an assigned mother. There they also receive services. But everything is inefficient. There aren´t any sustainable funds to run this program so it is in a constant thrive. There is actually only one psychologist to my understnding and there are many children. From next week on, I will be working with about 7/8 children whom I will personally choose and work with them with psychological intervention guided my the psycholosgist. It is not like I will be counseling because I need  license for that but honestly these kids need intervention. They have come from very violent and abusive households and having someone that can atleast help them cope or help them with their learning disabilities can be very rewarding to them.

I think that´s it for today. I have taken so mny great pictures! I will post them later. I do not have the appropiate cord to connect my camera to the PC. To summarize, it has not been the nicest trip. I also don´t like/connect with my roomates. But I am here for these kids and to learn and apply skills. This is just my first week. It will get better. This is a beautiful place with very kind people ( big difference from Lima  Airport). I am so grateful for this opprotunity. I will give these children the best of me. I hope others can get to intern at places like this and know that it is not normal for you to have everything because many UofM students truly do in comparison with this community that has nothing. Everyone is < tourist or people come here to intern for the experience but my site has made me further assimilate the reality.

 

Please excuse spelling errors. I have to type relllllllyyyy hard to get these letters on the screen.

 

4 thoughts on “Cusco, Peru – Arrival

  • May 4, 2017 at 4:40 am
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    Wow, it seems like this experience was definitely not what you were expecting. At least you are trying to make the best of things and keep positive, which is definitely the way to go. I hope things get better for you and that the trip is worth it.

    Reply
  • May 4, 2017 at 3:46 pm
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    That’s so frustrating to hear. However, it’s admirable how devoted you are to the children, and I hope the trip turns around! Excited to see pictures!

    Reply
  • May 5, 2017 at 6:45 pm
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    Hi! I really appreciate you being so honest and open about your experiences in Cusco thus far. I interned at an orphanage in Cusco last summer with UBELONG and I imagine I experienced a lot of similar frustrations. It was more challenging than I anticipated going in, similar to you, but I think your perspective of focusing on the work you are accomplishing is a great way to look at it. Let me know if you would like someone to discuss your experiences with!

    Reply
    • May 12, 2017 at 2:19 am
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      Thank you Meghan. I appreciate your dialogue. My team leaders are honestly so nice and helpful so we have worked everything out. There have been definitely some ups and downs but I’m okay. I guess it is part of the experience. I always try to keep an open mind and open heart. That’s something I preach but some times a very hard thing to do depending on the circumstances and one’s expectations.

      Reply

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