As I sit in the airplane on my way to training, I can’t help but imagine the next time I’ll be traveling—on my way to Trujillo, Peru. Ever since I found out about SKIP and the Fellow for Peace position, not a day has passed where I have not excitedly talked and thought about the upcoming summer (as my friends and family can attest to!)
I’ve always been a list person, and preparing for this trip is no exception. Even now, a month away from departure, multiple post-its are stashed around the house—things to ask the director of SKIP, documents to supply to The Advocacy Project, things to buy and pack, things my traveled friends say are necessities in South America, people to notify of my plans… pretty soon there will be a list of all the lists I’m keeping! While the little preparations keep me occupied, I worry about the bigger plan as well—how I can best help these children and advocate for their education. But no matter how much I prepare or read about the children of Peru or the state of education there, I can’t quite picture exactly what this summer will be like.
In the early stages of my preparation, I was slightly envious of the fellows who are going to work with organizations who have previously hosted AP interns. As the first two AP fellows to work with SKIP, Jessica and I have no previous plan or recommendations from AP. Talking to Peruvians and reading reports like those in the Economist make me wonder what the kids in Trujillo are up against—dilapidated schools, unqualified teachers, underfunded programs, and not to mention problems with poverty and violence in their communities… I feel slightly overwhelmed. But Jessica and I have the unique opportunity to truly be trailblazers, and make our own evaluation and recommendation to best advocate for the education of the children in Peru. While I still may not have a clear picture of what my summer will be like, I’m surprisingly okay with that. And while my experiences with American education and human rights might not always provide me with an exact plan for SKIP, I’m excited about the process of learning and planning it as I go.
Posted By Sara Zampierin
Posted May 22nd, 2007