Location: Ollantaytambo

The preconceived notion when one imagines volunteering is that you will always be teaching or just talking with children, but it isn’t always that way. In recent days, we did lots of physical labor, and we have corn to realize how important and lasting that kind of volunteering can be. We built and planted an entire garden with a fence by hand in front of a school. That will provide food in the future when their government rations are not enough.

To finish the garden, we stayed until the sun went down. Many volunteers go to these countries and are excited to begin projects, but neglect to complete them. However, we wanted to complete the job we started to the fullest. We learned whether you’re painting rocks, digging on your hands and knees, or teaching children colors in English, it is essential to give the community what they need to your greatest ability.

Second entry by Emma, Abby, Coby

Today was both our last day of service and our last day of volunteering at the local Kamikacha school. When we arrived, we were aware that our goals for the day were to help the children create their personal miniature terrarium with only a plastic bottle, cotton, some seeds, and water, but more importantly to finish building the garden that we had started the previous day. The morning consisted of teaching the kids how to make terrariums and observing their child-like creativity when given paint and brush. After our lunch break and a friendly game of soccer, the children entertained us with their cultural dancing as a thank you for our service. One by one the children pulled us up to join the dancing excitement.

Later, we returned to our hard work in the garden as the schoolchildren rushed to contribute. Although we had planned to go back early for an afternoon in the market, we still had a lot of work to finish. Hours later, we had built the fence, plowed the land, and planted all of the seeds. Our efforts had paid off. As the moon rose, we loaded the bus knowing that our small act had made a lasting impact.