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By Simone Gordon–

Working in Peru

Captivated and excited by opportunities to live and learn in a rich and diverse culture abroad drew me to Peru. I had previously spent about 9 months in India. I tasted, saw,  was touched by various stimuli in the society that had allowed me to challenge myself daily. I had a new found independence in which I was able to explore at my pace. In India, I was able to take in the culture and my surroundings by physically being present. This experience drove me to pursue my second international trip to work with a non-profit in Lima, Peru as a Volunteer Coordinator. I always believed that to truly understand a community, you have to live and work amongst the people.

I climbed Machupicchu 
So in the summer of 2016, I packed my bags and left for Lima. What I didn’t know was that I was going to play tug of war with my emotions and struggle with boundaries that were to be discovered. I had wonderful moments, and I had moments that were just hard. Initially, in my mind, this was going to be just like India. Wrong! For context, I was in India as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. I was one of four sent to Kolkata and we were prepped to be American Ambassadors. I was protected under the prestige of the Fellowship and the title of an American which gave me a different experience from other foreigners that I had spoken to. 
Yes, This Jamaican Idol is indeed a Global Icon
This time, in Peru, I was on my own, no program and no esteemed title. This time it was just me, an independent woman seeking employment abroad. And this proved to teach me a few things about myself and life:

1. Don’t have the same expectations for different experiences.
  • Each experience is unique and I have to try it as such.
2. I am not good at everything.
  • I had a hard time with this. I went into my job, thinking I was good at certain things but my day to day proved that I could use improvement in many areas. I had to learn that when I didn’t succeed the way I wanted to, it didn’t mean that I had failed.

3. Have my own standards; know what I believe for myself. Don’t have others dictate for me how I should feel, think or act. They are not God!

4. It’s okay to wait.
  • Learn patience. Don’t just jump at the first opportunity for something, sit on it and pray about it.

5. Say thank you and know when it is time to move on.
  • It was important for me to know when it is time to take what I learned from one place and move on to new adventures!

Peru

I thank God for my experience in Lima, Peru. I met a lot of wonderful people and formed great bonds. It was truly a learning and growing experience that I have been fortunate to be allowed to have.

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