Location: Cuzco

Today we volunteered for the first time at home for senior citizens that had nobody to take care of them. Although the language barrier made for some awkward conversations and lots of nervous laughter, we were still able to form relationships with them. Sometimes the volunteering was entertaining, such as when one irate old woman refused to let another very tiny and frail old woman go to bed. She proceeded to instead slam her door, yell at us, and dragged the poor woman down the stairs while we observed uncomfortably. Other times, it was incredibly moving. One friendly lady named Nida told her story to our counselor who then translated it to us. She explained that she had been a professor and a member of a chorus in Lima and one day she found herself in that home in Cuzco having no recollection of how she got there. Nida said she wanted to go home to Cuzco and see her friends again. Hearing that story was saddening, especially when I realized that lots of the other inhabitants probably shared similar stories. Despite their circumstances, nearly everyone greeted us with a smile. We made conversation, walked, and served lunch and dinner. We also assisted with going to the bathroom and helping the ladies get ready for bed. We played one large bingo game with the ladies and the rest of the older adults there. Not all were physically capable of showing their appreciation, but those that gave us kisses and hugs said that they would put us in their prayers leaving us feeling very satisfied and grateful for the experience.