Well I’ve been here at PSF for 7 weeks and I’m just now sitting down to write a blog post about my time so far. This is partly because this place is really hard to describe and partly because I have very little time to sit and reflect on it. Even now with a couple hours to spare before heading to bed, I can’t quite find the right words.
PSF is a volunteer organization in the town of Pisco, Peru. Pisco suffered a devestating earthquake in 2007 that left the majority of the town in rubble. Burners without Borders was one of the first disaster relief organizations to come help out. From that group developed PSF, which continued to rebuild the community after Burners without Borders had to leave. PSF has done a lot of incredible work in Pisco, but even now, 5 years later, some families are still living in makeshift shelters without proper sanitation or electricity. So PSF continues to work to rebuild Pisco with projects like modular homes, compost toilets and community development and education. Anyway, I sound like a brochure.
So since I’ve been here I’ve worked on a lot of different projects. My favorite part about PSF is working on things I would never have the opportunity or the confidence to do back at home. I’ve pushed wheelbarrows overflowing with cement to lay a concrete floor, I’ve helped design and paint a mural, I’ve cooked dinner for 50 people without starting any fires or loosing any fingers! I surprise myself everyday with strength and skills I didn’t know I had.
I’m also really just happy here. Before I got go to Pisco I had no idea what to expect out of this experience. I had allotted myself 3 months to volunteer but only signed up for 1 month just in case I didn’t like it. Now I’m not sure even 3 months is enough. The sense of restlessness that I’ve felt for a long time is gone, or is at least been put on pause for the moment. I’m sure eventually it will come back and it will be time to move on, but for now I’m content. I feel welcome, productive and happy here. And I can’t really ask for anything else.
I’ll update again before another month and a half goes by. Photos coming soon as well. Sending love from Peru!