What did you like most about being a Volunteer in Peru?
We asked Simone Kuffner, who’s been volunteering at a local project in Cusco for four months!
Simone is from Austria. She arrived in late September of 2015 and is leaving us in a few days. Simone has been both an excellent volunteer and dedicated Spanish student in Peru here at AMAUTA, and we are sad to see her go. She is practically a Peru professional now!
What surprised you the most about living in Cusco?
´´I didn´t have any idea about Cusco before, so I wasn´t expecting anything. I was surprised about the traffic, that it works so well, without accidents. There are always traffic jams, but it somehow works!´´
What is your favorite thing about living in Peru?
´´I like the mentality of life here in Peru. It is very different than life in. Here, in Peru, the people are more open and I really like the Peruvian lifestyle.´´
What were some examples of activities that were popular with the kids at your after school project while volunteering?
´´Once I made playdough for the kids so they could play with it, and they really liked that. Also, once I made masks with them and they liked that too. My sister is a kindergarten teacher so that helped a lot!´´
What advice would you have for future volunteers or Spanish students in Peru?
´´My advice is to be flexible because if you come from a more modern country you have to get used to life here. In Peru, many things don´t work or are different and you have to be flexible. You have to be open to new and different things.´´
Do you think your Spanish has improved a lot during your volunteer work?
´´Yeah, definitely. I think it was the individual classes on top of the Spanish group classes that helped because I really had to speak with the teacher; I couldn´t avoid it, and I got to speak a lot. At first I was afraid of speaking with Peruvian people because my Spanish wasn´t so good, but after the individual classes I wanted to speak with local people.´´
What differences do you see between Peruvian children and Austrian children?
´´The education is different. I think that the kids here are more forced to learn because they start learning formal things early and have homework and stuff. In Austria the education is better because it is less formal at the beginning and kids have time to play until they are around 6 years old. They also know how to speak English by 11 years old. Here, you don´t see that.´´
What was the most valuable experience for you, on a personal level?
´´That you have to be open to new things. I also learned that I like life here in Peru more than in Europe. I got to know a new culture, lifestyle, and people. I am going to miss everything!.´´
We sure are going to miss you, Simone! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication to AMAUTA and to the kids here in Cusco. You´re awesome!
For more information about the AMAUTA Volunteer Placements in Peru, contact us or like us on Facebook, to receive regular updates of student life in Cusco.