A Yampu-sponsored MEDLIFE Student in Lima, Peru: Week Eight
Check out the projects MEDLIFE volunteer interns worked on last week, as told by Ian!
We are wrapping up our summer internship now in the office and it’s unbelievable what we have completed over the past eight weeks. I am so excited for next week since we are building and completing Jorge’s Ramp!!! This past week, I was on one project day, enjoyed a day off and I finished and presented the fall semester fundraiser, Foundations for a Future with my two group members to our supervisors.
For the project day we built the roof for Santusa’s house and it was one of the hardest project days I’ve had but one of the most rewarding. Santusa developed breast lumps and the pain got so unbearable she had to stop working. Thanks to all the help at MEDLIFE, she finally was operated on, but her living conditions were dismal. Her house was just minutes away from collapsing. With the fundraising of multiple MEDLIFE Chapters, Santusa Collo will be able to have a stable and safe home that she deserves. This was my third time visiting the site of Santusa’s house and it was amazing to see the progress. On this workday we hauled cement up to the top of her house to complete the roof. It was back-breaking work. We worked for the whole day and we went until we finished.
Once we finished we started to head out but Santusa stopped by and said she wanted us to come with her because she had made us all food. Santusa is currently living with a friend in the same community, a friend who lives in a house similar to how her house was previously. We went and sat down and had eggs, rice and beans that she made for us. It was very nice and it was also very humbling. Santusa spent most of her day preparing that food for us to show her appreciation of our work for her house. From this experience I learned that it does not matter what we are doing and how hard it might be at the moment, our actions can impact others. I think this is a very important lesson to learn because when in the community development field or when in the classroom, we must understand that even the smallest action can have a massive impact, positive or negative.
For the rest of the week I worked on the fundraiser with my team. We finished up the last month and then we reviewed all of our documents and made sure that they all work together. We then reviewed our plans, our progress and what we need to do to present our fundraiser for it to be successful. We presented the fundraiser to the office and our supervisors. We asked for comments and edits to our documents to improve them and to have fresh eyes look at what we’ve created. After the presentation we compiled a list of all of the proposed edits and we created a checklist for the things you have to do to finish the fundraiser. For the rest of the week we then worked on those edits and completed the fundraiser. This was such a big part of my summer and through the organization and team management we were able to complete the fundraiser on time and made it better than what was expected. Through the completion of this fundraiser I learned many things including the importance of project management tools, communication among team members and other offices, how to put our ideas together, how to present our fundraiser and the best way and how to use the comments and edits to improve our deliverable. I spent a lot of time on this fundraiser and everything I learned has been invaluable. I have never created an international fundraiser but with the skills that I have learned in my classes I was able to create one of the best fundraisers MEDLIFE has had.
Huaca Pucllana. Huaca Pucllana is a great adobe and clay pyramid in the center of Miraflores, Lima, Peru. Still being excavated after 30 years, it was an important ceremonial and administrative center dating back to 200-700 A.D. It was so crazy to be able to see this temple and I had a lot of fun learning more about Miraflores. I then walked around Miraflores to Larcomar, a large outdoor mall right on the cliff. I walked around and then sat on a bench and just watched and listened to the waves. It was such a great day and I was able to relax and enjoy my day off.
Hometown: Hamilton, NJ
School: University of Vermont
Minor: Community & International Development
Ian is a mentor for two awesome mentees Keshon and Kiki, a volunteer at the University of Vermont Medical Center on the pediatric floor, the president of MEDVIDA, his local chapter of MEDLIFE, and a member of the UVM Triathlon club. He loves being outdoors hiking, snowboarding, and camping.
Ian first got involved with MEDLIFE at the University of Vermont by joining his local chapter during Freshman year. He went on his first brigade that summer to Cusco, Peru and it changed his life. During his Sophomore year he became Vice President and Brigades Officer for his chapter. That summer he went on my second brigade to Esmeraldas, Ecuador where he first learned about his current internship in Lima, Peru. In his Junior year he became the President of his chapter at UVM and he is now a MEDLIFE Volunteer Affairs Intern.
His goal for this internship is to connect his Biology major and Community and International Development minor through helping with the planning and implementation of sustainable community development projects that help bring medical access to vulnerable communities.