A quick look at the everyday adventures of an Intiwawa volunteer. From kicking back with a book on the roof terrace to playing games with the kids to heading out for some post-Intiwawa drinks – there is never a dull day as a volunteer.
For those who deem a lie-in as a luxury can indulge in a late get-up every morning. Many volunteers ease into the day at around 10am – whipping up some breakfast in the Intihouse kitchen and taking to our stunning terrace to enjoy a coffee under the morning sun with a view of the volcanos. This is a perfect opportunity to have some ‘me time’, so grab a book or stick on some tunes, swing from a hammock and enjoy. Alternatively, for those who prefer to fill their mornings with activities, there are plenty of things to get involved in. Some volunteers rise much earlier and head to the local gym – a 10-minute walk away from Intihouse. After working up an appetite volunteers have a variety of coffee shops to choose from to grab some much-needed breakfast. Kafi Wasi on the same street as Intihouse does a set breakfast including fresh juice and coffee for a mere 10 soles. The morning is also a great time to do some shopping. Either walk to the central Mercado San Camilo or jump in a taxi to a whole district full of markets. You can grab a trolley and fill it with the freshest fruit and vegetables or many other typical Peruvian items at an insanely cheap price.
At around 1 o’clock those going to Intiwawa in San Isidro begin to make their way there. But not before grabbing some quick munch first. A 7 soles set menu from across the street tends to do the trick. Volunteers first have a 15-minute walk to the bus stop. After flagging down the correct bus they jump on, hoping to get a seat. After a 45 minute journey to the outskirts of Arequipa, volunteers squeeze through the standing passengers to land on the dusty ground under the strong heat of the sun. One more 5-minute journey lands you in San Isidro – 30 minutes early to prepare for the arrival of the kids. When the hour hits 3, the first few Intiwawa kids start to grace us with their smiling faces and high energy. In no time Intiwawa is a hive of activity with the kids grabbing their homework and heading into their classrooms. After an hour and a half of concentration, music blasts from the office – the signal that it’s time to clear up and get ready for dinner. In a matter of seconds. Intiwawa goes from near silence to an explosion of laughing, shouting and kids running to wash their hands. They line-up, gradually filter in and sit waiting for their food. After dinner, it’s teeth-brushing time while those who misbehaved during the afternoon, under instruction from the volunteers, complete the necessary cleaning chores. Once the kids have left, the volunteers gather in the office to have a little debrief of the afternoon before heading to the bus stop to return home.
Once back at Intihouse, depending on the day, you could be heading straight into a meeting. Monday is a meeting of all volunteers, giving everyone an opportunity to share their ideas, project updates and news with all. There’s usually a new member to introduce so the meeting usually starts with a round of introductions followed by an ice-breaker game lead by the Intiwawa scouts. After the meeting, many volunteers tend to head out for some food – pizza, burgers, sushi, the list is endless. On any other day, the volunteers have a free evening to put to good use. Which usually means indulging in one of Arequipa’s great restaurants, sometimes followed by some drinks at a bar. The night-time atmosphere in the city is so lively that it would be a shame to waste it! Alternatively, if you’re not feeling like going out you can chill out in the games room which is kitted out with table tennis, a snooker table, table football and darts. Volunteers also use the big tv to watch Netflix or a movie to end the day before retiring to bed for the night.